ONCOLOGISTS ON MEDICARE AND CUTS FOR CANCER CARE - Mitch Perry

08/19/04

A new report issued yesterday says that since 1999, health care related interests have contributed over $162 million dollars to federal candidates and party committees. Seventy-four percent of that total has gone to Republicans.

This is just one of the major findings in a new national report, PAYBACKS: How the White House and Congress Are Neglecting Our Health Care Because of Their Corporate Contributors. It was produced by a consortium of public interest groups, including ACORN and USAction.

There has been much criticism of the landmark Medicare Prescription Drug Bill that was bill that was signed by President Bush last December. One group now weighing in with their complaints is Oncologists.

They contend that personal care and extra services could change as Medicare has recently announced its proposed payment schedule for doctor services and drugs for 2005- including reimbursement rates for numerous chemotherapy drugs...They say the result could be a cut of at least half a billion dollars in resources for cancer care next year.

Safety Harbor oncologist Marcos Jopper and New Port Richey Doctor Gerald Robbins spoke to WMNF yesterday morning about the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill, and why it's bad for cancer patients.

Doctor Robbins says that - unlike most parts of the Medicare bill - the provisions that could affect Cancer patients have already kicked in (roll tape#1 o.q."at the 2004 numbers")

That was New Port Richey Doctor Gerald Robbins, speaking along with Safety Harbor oncologist Dr. Marcos Jopper about how the Medicare Modernization Act , signed last year - will see a cut of at least $500 million dollars in resources for cancer care in 2005.

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