The president-elect of the American Medical Association will speak to Minnesota doctors tonight in Minneapolis about scheduled cuts to Medicare payments.
Dr. Jeremy Lazarus said Congress should permanently fix the formula used for Medicare payments, now that the federal government is spending less on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
If Congress doesn't act by March 1, there would be a 27 percent cut in Medicare payments to physicians.
"Doctors would be unable to sustain their office practice. They have to keep the lights on, they have to pay their staff, they have to pay overhead, and already Medicare payments have not kept up with increasing practice costs," Lazarus said.
In the past, Congress has stepped in with temporary fixes to shield doctors from some of the cuts.
Lazarus said he hopes Minnesota doctors will urge their members of Congress to find a permanent solution. Nearly 800,000 Minnesotans are enrolled in Medicare.