The U.S. Conference of Mayors


WHEREAS, approximately 43,000,000 U.S. residents are enrolled in Medicare and enrollment is expected to grow markedly over the next twenty years; and

WHEREAS, the formulas used to develop Medicare reimbursement rates fail to adequately reflect the true costs of practicing medicine; and

WHEREAS, medical doctors have testified that Medicare reimburses less than 50% of physicians' costs of patient care; and

WHEREAS, fewer and fewer medical doctors accept new Medicare patients and many current patients are being terminated from care for a lack of sufficient reimbursements so that the numbers of untreated Medicare patients is reaching critical levels; and

WHEREAS, the United States Congressional Budget Office recently forecast that, under current law, Medicare reimbursement rates for medical doctors will be reduced by an additional 10 percent in 2008; and

WHEREAS, cumulative reductions in Medicare reimbursement rates for medical doctors are expected to reach 40 percent by 2015, and, during the same time frame, medical practice costs are expected to rise 20 percent; and

WHEREAS, the American Medical Association calls the Medicare reimbursement formula, "broken beyond repair" and wants it replaced; and

WHEREAS, the United States Medicare Payment Advisory Commission is concerned that Medicare reimbursement rate cuts will worsen patient access to medical doctors; and

WHEREAS, a national survey of medical doctors conducted by the American Medical Association found that nearly half of the medical doctors surveyed will be forced to decrease or stop accepting new Medicare patients if reimbursement rates are lowered; and

WHEREAS, The Military Officers Association of America stated that Medicare reimbursement rate cuts will significantly damage military beneficiaries' access to care since military health insurance is linked to Medicare reimbursement rates,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the United States Conference of Mayors urges the United States Congress and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to comprehensively rewrite the Medicare reimbursement system to address inequities in physician reimbursement that are leading to the collapse of the primary care system and limiting senior citizens' access to the physicians best qualified to coordinate their care.

2007 The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Tom Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202.293.7330 ~ Fax 202.293.2352