Letter sent to:
U.S. Senators: Reid, McConnell, Inouye, and Cochran
June 14, 2010
On behalf of the more than 100,000 members of the Association of the United States Army, I write to urge you and your colleagues to quickly pass the Senate version of H.R. 4213. This resolution would reverse the 21% reduction in the Medicare Physician Payment rate that will take effect on June 18th.
Declining participation of providers in Medicare and TRICARE due to low reimbursements is a serious healthcare problem facing Medicare-eligibles and military beneficiaries of all ages. Since TRICARE payment rates are tied to Medicare’s rates, any reductions adversely impact all military beneficiaries, not just those over age 65.
Finding doctors who accept TRICARE is an enormous problem for the military community - particularly for Guard and Reserve families, retirees, and survivors who live in areas with a small military population. Payment cuts make the situation even worse.
Service members serving our Nation in harm’s way should not have to worry about their families’ healthcare. There will be long-term negative consequences to retention and readiness if the military TRICARE program cannot provide access to quality care.
Again, I urge you to take immediate action to reverse the 21% Medicare/TRICARE payment cut before June 18th.
GORDON R. SULLIVAN
General, USA Retired