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On January 1, 2010, physicians face a minimum across-the-board cut of 21 percent in Medicare payments. This cut will grow to about 40 percent in cumulative cuts by 2016 unless Congress permanently reforms Medicare's physician payment system. These cuts and low payments will limit older Americans' access to health care. How? Some doctors have said the cuts will force them to decrease or stop seeing new Medicare patients. Which means older people may be forced to travel further for needed medical care, or even go to emergency facilities instead of a doctor's office for basic care! Furthermore, pay cuts may stop physicians from purchasing health information technology. The Medicare physician payment system needs to keep up with rising practice costs so that seniors can be assured of continued access to quality care. Urge Congress not to settle for another temporary fix -- health system reform must include Medicare reform and we need a long-term solution now. America deserve nothing less!
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