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Physicians: Don’t Connect SGR Repeal and Individual Mandate Delay

March 24, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
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Most physician disapprove of Congress’ decision to link payment reform to the possible repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), revealed a new survey from the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE).

The ACPE polled 551 members and 80 percent did not believe the repeal of the SGR should be tied to a delay in the individual mandate of the Accountable Care Act until 2019. The poll came as a result of bill passed by House Republicans, which added the SGR provision in the last-minute, says ACPE. The bill, ACPE reported, is not likely to pass the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats. The White House also would likely veto the measure.

“The poll results reflect the frustration many of our members feel after 17 years of short-term fixes. I believe we all feel strongly it’s time for a more permanent solution to our country’s Medicare funding challenges,” Peter Angood, M.D., President and CEO of ACPE, said in a press statement.

Most ACPE members said they would like a fix to the SGR, but not in connection with the individual mandate. Many, ACPE reported, were frustrated by the political gamesmanship by House Republicans. However, others questioned the Obama administration, which already delayed the individual mandate for people whose insurance plans were canceled. Those people wondered why it would allow the mandate to derail the elimination of SGR.

A recent report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) indicates that the proposed bill would cost $180 billion over the next decade.

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