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AMA President: Medicare Pay Cuts Hurt Seniors

The president of the nation's largest doctors' group says upcoming cuts in Medicare physician payments will be catastrophic for seniors.

Dr. Cecil Wilson of the American Medical Association says Medicare payments will drop by more than 20 percent by January unless Congress takes quick action.

Wilson says many seniors will lose access to needed care because some doctors will stop accepting Medicare patients. He adds it's a question of medical practices remaining financially viable.

"The doctors are furious because once again Congress is letting this Medicare payment issue go right down to the wire," said CBS News Capitol Hill Correspondent Bob Fuss.

Most everyone agrees that the cuts are too much and would lead to doctors turning older patients away, said Fuss.

Wilson spoke out against the cuts Monday at the AMA's interim meeting in San Diego. The AMA is running full-page newspaper ads and wants a 13-month reprieve so a permanent solution can be sought.

"The AMA warns doctors will stop treating these older patients," said Fuss. "But with Republicans adamant about cutting spending, and Congress already facing the issue of how to deal with tax cuts and unemployment insurance, it's not clear what the doctors will get."

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