Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) on March 13, 2008, introduced the Save Medicare Act of 2008 (S.2785). The legislation would replace proposed Medicare cuts, which total more than 15 percent, with positive updates to physician payments from July 1, 2008, though December 31, 2009. Specifically, S.2785 would extend the current, temporary 0.5 percent update through December 31, 2008, which would avert the 10.6 percent cut to payments that is scheduled to take effect July 1, 2008. The legislation also provides a 1.8 percent update for 2009 and extends provision benefiting rural payment levels.

Further, S.2785 would allow funding for the Medicare Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) through 2010; this program provides physicians with an additional 1.5 percent payment bonus if criteria are met.

It is critical that you reach out to your Senators in the next two weeks and urge them to co-sponsor and support S.2785. The American Medical Association offers a toll-free grassroots hotline at (800) 833-6354, which connects you directly with your Senator. Contact Ted Thurn at (708) 492-0930 or via e-mail at for more information.