MMS Issues Qualified Support for Health Care Reform Legislation

Contact: Richard Gulla
rgulla@mms.org
(781) 434-7101

Waltham, Mass. - March 20, 2010 - The Massachusetts Medical Society today issued its qualified support for the health care legislation scheduled for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on Sunday.

In a letter today to the Massachusetts congressional delegation, MMS President Mario E. Motta, MD, said, "On balance we believe this legislation should go forward, to fulfill the promise of providing all Americans with health insurance coverage and to enact long overdue insurance reforms. This legislation builds upon the groundbreaking Massachusetts universal coverage law. HR 3590 is a first step to meaningful health care reform and to achieve universal coverage for all Americans.

"At the same time, our members strongly believe that we must work with you and the entire delegation to make certain that Congress enacts legislation to ensure that patients will have access to physicians, and to correct other problems with this bill. It is crucial that Congress pass a permanent change to the Medicare physician payment formula this year, and correct provisions in this bill that would undermine the quality of health care, such as the Independent Payment Advisory Board, the value modifier index and other provisions. We also urge Congress to continue to work for a more comprehensive approach to medical liability reform."

Dr. Motta also thanked the members of the state congressional delegation for its work to ensure that the federal legislation supports and maintains the progress that Massachusetts has made to extend health care coverage to more than 96 percent of Massachusetts residents.

The Massachusetts Medical Society, with more than 22,000 physicians and student members, is dedicated to educating and advocating for the patients and physicians of Massachusetts. The Society publishes the New England Journal of Medicine, a leading global medical journal and web site, and Journal Watch alerts and newsletters covering 13 specialties. The Society is also a leader in continuing medical education for health care professionals throughout Massachusetts, conducting a variety of medical education programs for physicians and health care professionals. Founded in 1781, MMS is the oldest continuously operating medical society in the country.

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