In the final hours of last night, the U.S. Senate passed legislation which finally expels Medicare’s irresponsible and broken Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), a measure that has annually threatened the livelihoods of physicians and patient access to care. In an overwhelming and bi-partisan fashion, the Senate, by a 92-8 vote, made a commitment to 21st century medical care and fair payment for exceptional physician work. Once signed by President Barack Obama, which is expected to take place within the coming days, the SGR repeal bill will finally become a law.
This landmark legislation, one that protects physicians against a 21% pay cut from Medicare, is proof that when physicians raise their voices, Congress will listen. The repeal of a flawed, senseless policy is the product of tireless, hands-on work done by active physician members. Today, every member who has contacted their representative or who has made a generous contribution to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Political Action Committee (AASM PAC) has won a monumental, historic victory.
While this particular political battle has been won, difficulties and hurdles lie ahead. In addition to SGR repeal, the new law will include incentive schedules for participating in alternative payment models and a merit-based incentive payment system. The logistics of the new law must be debated and implemented. The health of the sleep field still relies on your support. To ensure that Medicare patients are treated with care and that physicians are paid what they deserve, sign our letter, thank your Representative and Senators, and remind them that further work needs to be done to protect physicians and their Medicare patients.
As the AASM PAC looks to tackle common-sense, sleep-positive health policy in the future, the presence of sympathetic and informed lawmakers will become increasingly crucial to our success. Every donation to the AASM PAC, large or small, serves to bring an influential and underserved physician voice to the political table. Please consider contributing to the AASM PAC today.