SGR opponents hope YouTube video goes viral, influences Congress

August 3, 2011

Opponents of Medicare?s sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula are hoping their YouTube video goes viral. The American Academy of Family Physicians and 10 other physician-led groups released the YouTube video as part of a coordinated effort to infect Congress with the desire to eliminate the SGR in any deficit-reduction plan. Here?s a preview.

Medical associations are taking their fight against Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula to the people-which, these days, means posting a video on YouTube.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American Medical Association (AMA), and nine other physician-led groups released the YouTube video as part of a coordinated effort to persuade Congress to eliminate the SGR in any deficit-reduction plan.

The video says that Congress has stepped in 12 times to stop steep cuts mandated by the SGR but, likening the process to paying the minimum payment on a credit card each month, “they never really pay the bill.”

The video and accompanying message have been sent to media outlets and congressional offices. In addition, the AAFP has sent an alert to its members urging them to email the package to their Congress members.

"Congress has a choice: Fix the SGR now or ask taxpayers to bear a bigger burden," according to the message, which states that "there is one fiscally responsible step that Congress can take now so that Medicare patients can keep their doctors, and avoid adding even more to Medicare spending and the national debt-they can fix Medicare's broken physician payment formula now instead of later."

The message also cautions that “if the short-term fixes continue, the cost of eliminating the Medicare payment formula, known as the SGR, will be half a trillion dollars in just a few years."

In July, the AAFP and 16 other physician groups issued a statement commending the bipartisan “Gang of Six” for recommending SGR repeal in their budget plan.

In addition to the AAFP and the AMA, backing the video and message campaign are the American Academy of Dermatology, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American College of Cardiology, American College of Physicians, American College of Surgeons, American Osteopathic Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and Medical Group Management Association.

Go back to the current issue of eConsult.