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California Doctors Prepare For Medicare Cuts

— California doctors could lose 21 cents on every dollar they currently earn from Medicare patients. The cuts will take effect Thursday unless Congress passes a new Medicare formula.

The California Medical Association estimates there are about 75- thousand practicing doctors in the state, and more than half of those accept Medicare patients. CMA spokesman Andrew Lamar says those cuts could force some of the state’s doctors to reconsider who they accept as patients.

"In other words, they gotta make decisions whether they want to stop seeing Medicare patients because their reimbursements are too low," said Andrew Lamar. "You know, obviously those with the heavier Medicare load, this will have a huge impact and make for some tough decisions.

Some U.S. GOP Senators are pushing for the cuts as a way to reduce deficit spending. The Medicare reductions were approved in 1997. However, since that time, Congress has routinely continued to pay Doctors higher rates.

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