A Continuing Resolution (CR) to avoid a government shutdown and provide current level funding for federal programs through February 18th was approved by Congress on December 2nd, just a day before the previous CR was set to expire at midnight December 3rd. Despite a strong advocacy effort by the physician community, the new CR does not address the 3.75% cut to the Medicare conversion factor, the 2% sequestration cut from the Budget Control Act of 2010, or the 4% cut from PAYGO rules triggered by the passage of the American Rescue Plan earlier this year. The exclusion of any Medicare payment cut relief in the CR is believed to be due to disagreement about how to offset the costs of mitigating the Medicare cuts and the need to act quickly to avoid a government shutdown.
There is significant interest in Congress, however, in stopping the Medicare cuts as demonstrated by the more than 200 Members of the House who signed the Bera-Bucshon letter to congressional leaders requesting that Congress act before the end of the year to stop the cuts. There are discussions in Congress about moving another stand-alone piece of legislation to address the Medicare physician payment cuts and other pending health care issues. We must continue to exert strong pressure on Congress to move legislation addressing the Medicare payment cuts this year if we hope to avoid Medicare payment reductions of almost 10% on January 1st. There are only a few weeks left before Congress adjourns. It is imperative that our message is loud and clear that Congress must act to stop the Medicare payment cuts before the end of this year!
Action Request: Please contact your U.S. Representative and two U.S. Senators and request congressional action to stop the Medicare payment cuts that will take effect on January 1, 2022. There are two ways that you can easily contact your Members of Congress:
- College of Surgeons Auto Call-In Feature: If you are a member of the College of Surgeons, you can go to the following link to be directly connected by phone to your lawmakers’ offices: https://facs.quorum.us/campaign/36297/.
- Surgical Care Coalition Website: You can go to the Surgical Care Coalition website at https://www.surgicalcare.org/take-action/ to send a prewritten email message to your federal lawmakers.
Time is of the essence! Please contact your Members of Congress today and tell them to stop the Medicare payment cuts!