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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
28-Nov-2012

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Contact: Aimee Frank
media@gastro.org
301-941-2620
American Gastroenterological Association
@AmerGastroAssn

AGA members tell lawmakers -- stop the cuts

Dec. 4 is AGA Virtual Advocacy Day

Bethesda, MD (Nov. 28, 2012) -- As the deadline for sequestration gets closer, the looming threat of across-the-board budget cuts becomes more real. While these cuts will have repercussions across all sectors of the U.S. economy, medical researchers and health-care professionals will be adversely affected by these major budget issues. If Congress does not take action, medical practice reimbursement will be slashed by 29 percent and research funding will be cut by 8 percent.

On Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, members of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) from across the country will participate in the first-ever AGA Virtual Advocacy campaign. Gastroenterologists will flood Congress with calls for them to stop the cuts.

"There is an enormous amount at stake in the next few weeks with impending cuts that will have devastating impacts on clinicians and researchers," said Loren Laine, MD, AGAF, president of the AGA Institute.

Clinicians are facing nearly a 29 percent reduction in reimbursement from Medicare when the proposed 26.5 percent cut from the Medicare sustainable growth rate is combined with the automatic, across-the-board 2 percent cut from sequestration. The proposed 8 percent cut to federal research funding due to sequestration will affect major drivers of medical innovation in this country, stall scientific progress and kill an important economic engine in the U.S.

"Cuts to clinician reimbursements will mean a drastic reduction in income for medical practices that will struggle to pay staff, provide benefits and invest in the infrastructure needed to run a business," according to Dr. Laine. "Additionally, the proposed cuts to federal research funding will cripple laboratories across the country and will cost America jobs at a time when our nation can't afford to lose anymore."

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Learn more about the AGA Virtual Advocacy Day and how to get involved at www.gastro.org/stopthecuts.

About the AGA

The American Gastroenterological Association is the trusted voice of the GI community. Founded in 1897, the AGA has grown to include 17,000 members from around the globe who are involved in all aspects of the science, practice and advancement of gastroenterology. www.gastro.org.

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