What's ahead on the fiscal cliff?

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December 21, 2012
In this issue
» Physicians Urged to Plan Now for Possibility of Major Cuts in Federal Programs

» New Analysis Describes Medicaid Expansion as Cost-Effective for States

» What Will the Fiscal Cliff Mean for Me?

About this newsletter

The ACP Advocate is an e-newsletter, edited by the College's Washington, DC governmental affairs division, created to provide you, our members, with succinct news about public policy issues affecting internal medicine and patient care. To learn more about ACP's Advocacy and to access the ACP Advocate archives, go to www.acponline.org/advocacy.

Welcome to The ACP Advocate

First, let me extend my sympathy and condolences to the families and neighbors of the children and adults murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. As a country, we clearly need to do more to prevent deaths and injuries from persons wielding firearms and other forms of violence--in our schools, our homes, our workplaces, and our neighborhoods. The American College of Physicians has long-standing policies on reducing firearms related deaths and injuries, and has released a statement urging a multi-faceted approach, including limits on access to assault-style weapons and improved access to mental health services. A link to the statement appears in the sidebar to the right.

Our first story today is an update for you on where we stand on the fiscal cliff and the Medicare payment situation in Congress. As of press time the issue remains unresolved. I know how devastating a cut of this magnitude would be for many of your practices; I encourage you to check out the story for more information about what ACP is doing on this issue to advocate for your interests. I also encourage you to look at the alert page on ACP's website that is linked to next to this letter. We'll be updating that page over the next couple of weeks as we hopefully see a resolution to this situation.

Today's second story brings you news about a new study related to the Medicaid expansion. The report from the Urban Institute shows that, despite some concerns to the contrary, participation in the Medicaid expansion of the Affordable Care Act is actually cost effective for states.

Finally, our last story today comes to you from the National Journal publications. Take a look to see what the tax ramifications could be for you if Congress and the Administration are unable to reach a deal on the fiscal cliff negotiations. In addition to providing several examples, the article points you to a calculator that can determine the impact on your personal situation.

For more coverage of what's happening in Washington take a look at my award-winning blog, The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty. You can also follow me on Twitter @BobDohertyACP.

As always, please send your feedback and suggestions on this newsletter to: TheACPAdvocate@acponline.org.

And notwithstanding these challenging times, I extend to you my best wishes for a peaceful holiday celebration with your families and other loved ones and a happy New Year.

Yours truly, 

Bob Doherty
Senior Vice President
Governmental Affairs and Public Policy
American College of Physicians 

In the news
» Physicians Urged to Plan Now for Possibility of Major Cuts in Federal Programs
  As 'fiscal cliff' negotiations falter, impact on medical system becomes more likely

Chances of the so-called "fiscal cliff" becoming a reality -- a prospect that would bring deep cuts to Medicare payments and federal health care programs -- grow more likely as each day passes, according to Bob Doherty, senior vice pres... » Click to read the full article

» New Analysis Describes Medicaid Expansion as Cost-Effective for States
  ACP president calls the proposal 'the right thing to do' on all fronts

States participating in the expansion of Medicaid called for under the Affordable Care Act would face little additional cost and could actually save money in the long run, according to a new report released by the Kaiser Family Foundati... » Click to read the full article

» What Will the Fiscal Cliff Mean for Me?

From the National Journal publications, December 5, 2012

The fiscal cliff isn't just about taxes. But for the average American, higher taxes will be the most salient impact if Congress allows spending cuts and tax incre... » Click to read the full article

In focus
Track What's Happening on the Fiscal Cliff
As the Jan. 1 deadline to resolve the fiscal cliff situation looms, ACP has posted a page with information about the status of the fiscal cliff negotiations in Congress and advice on planning for the potential that the cuts are not averted. Please check back for updates and advice on this page as we move closer to Jan. 1.

ACP Issues Statement on Reducing Firearms-Related Deaths and Injuries
On Thursday, ACP issued a statement from College President Dr. David Bronson, about reducing firearms-related deaths and injuries. In the statement Dr. Bronson noted that ACP has proposed policies related to this issue since 1996. He commented that “Over the next weeks and months, ACP will review the research on the most effective approaches to reduce firearms-related injuries and deaths, and then from this review, offer our ideas for a multi-faceted, comprehensive approach.”

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