The US Senate’s failure to act before the March 1 21% Medicare physician payment cut would have put seniors at grave risk of reduced access to health care and choice of physician, but on March 2, the Senate voted to delay the cuts for 1 month.

"The US Senate voted yet again to delay the 21% Medicare physician payment cut for 1 month, postponing it until April 1. The Senate should use this time to permanently repeal the flawed Medicare physician payment formula that puts access to care for seniors and military families at risk,” said J. James Rohack, MD, president of the American Medical Association.

Rohack continued by stating, "Physicians are outraged by the Senate’s failure to act before the March 1 deadline, as their patients and practices are hurt by the continued instability in the Medicare system. This vicious cycle of short-term delays that increase the size of the cut and the cost of reform for American taxpayers must come to an end,” he said. “The US House has already passed legislation that will permanently repeal the broken payment formula and replace it with one that better reflects the increasing cost of patient care. Now the Senate must act.”