Feb 19th, 2012 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Social Security & Medicare

Payroll Tax Cut Renewal Passes Congress

On Friday this week (February 17, 2012), Congress passed a bill that renewed the payroll tax cut for millions of workers in America.  It also continued benefits for unemployed workers.  As has said previously, when American workers are employed and making an income, everyone prospers.

“Under the bill, workers would continue to receive a 2 percentage point increase in their paychecks, and people out of work for more than six months would keep jobless benefits averaging about $300 a week, steps that Obama says will help support the fragile recovery from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.”  ( February 17, 2012)

Medicare Reimbursements to Physicians Continued

More importantly, for senior citizens, it prevented a deep cut in reimbursements (27%) to physicians who treat patients with Medicare benefits. The Medicare protection will continue through the end of this year, 2012.

AARP Vice President, Nancy LeaMond released this statement following passage of the legislation:

“With today’s passage of legislation to stabilize physician reimbursement, millions of seniors in Medicare will have the peace of mind in knowing that they will still have access to their doctors. We’re pleased that Congress worked together to avoid devastating cuts to physicians’ Medicare reimbursement through the end of this year.

“However, for too long, the so-called ‘doc fix’ has been an annual game of chicken on Capitol Hill. And with another temporary patch in place, both the size of future cuts and the cost of fixing the flawed physician payment system continue to increase.

“We will continue to work with Congress to address the flawed physician payment system and find a solution that gives seniors in Medicare and the physicians who care for them the stability they deserve.”

Millions of seniors depend on Medicare for the vast majority of their medical care.  The physician payment plan must be fixed by Congress to ensure senior citizens receive the medical care they deserve.

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