A 21 per cent cut in Medicare fees to doctors was triggered by political congestion in the Senate on Monday. Reacting to this the doctors said they would limit Medicare needs to elders if this step was taken.
Medicare billing contractors were told to hold off processing claims for 10 business days by the Obama administration. This was done hoping the Senate will act soon to stave off the cuts.
Jonathan Blum, who directs the Medicare division that handles payments to providers, said, "Our main goal is to avoid disrupting payments to physicians during this time."
But the American Medical Association condemned the cuts to go through. The association said that it was evident that the political system could not address manageable problems with health care.
Dr James Rohack, president of the doctors' group said, "Our message to the U. S. Senate is to stop playing games with Medicare patients and the physicians who care for them."
A bill was passed last week that included funding to temporarily stave off the cuts.
The Medicare cuts come because of a 1990s deficit reduction measure that Congress has been waiving for years.