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of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.
A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943
Omnia pro aegroto
July 30, 1999
DOCTORS DECLARE 5th "MEDICARE PATIENT FREEDOM DAY"
Government Involvement in Medical Care Hurts Seniors & Doctors, Leads to Rationing
Contact: Kathryn Serkes (202) 333-3855
For advance results of the Medicare survey, e-mail: [email protected]
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) declares July 30, 1999 as the fifth annual "Medicare
Patient Freedom Day" to draw attention to the negative impact of Medicare rules and restrictions on patient care and
In the next week, AAPS will issue "Medicare Freedom Alerts" including information such as:
- The results of a national survey of physicians which clearly demonstrates that Medicare regulations make it
MORE difficult for seniors to receive medical care
- Stories of government interference into seniors’ medical care and how physicians are prevented from
providing patients with the most appropriate, timely and effective treatments
- How mandatory prescription drug coverage will actually harm patients
- The "Medicare Patient Freedom Resolution" to be sent to Congress calling for unrestricted private contracts
for Medicare-eligible patients
- How physicians can "opt out" of Medicare
In 1995, AAPS marked the 30th anniversary of Medicare with the first "Medicare Patient Freedom Day." Doctors
across the country treated Medicare patients for $1 cash, and refused to file claims for reimbursement from
taxpayers. The government’s response? It was illegal for patients to receive the treatment they wanted and pay
for it themselves -- even if Medicare wouldn’t cover that treatment.
This turned the spotlight on the unconscionable government rationing of care to seniors. Headlines read "Patients
Lose Medical Rights at 65," "Brain Surgery for a Buck," and "Take the Government Money -- Or Else." The public
began to call for changes in Medicare that would allow seniors to enter into private contracts with physicians -- the
same freedom enjoyed by everyone under the age of 65.
Congress responded by passing the Balanced Budget Amendment Section 4507, which allowed private contracting -
- but only if a doctor withdraws from ALL Medicare for ALL patients for a period of two years. AAPS continues to
work for changes to allow unrestricted private contracting.
AAPS Medicare Patient Freedom Resolution 1999
AAPS Declaration of Support for Medicare Patient Freedom Day