WPR News
9:12 am
Tue April 1, 2008

Barrasso Wants Funding Increase

Washington D-C – The powerful American Medical Association is meeting in Washington. Today the group heard from Wyoming's John Barrasso, one of just a pair of physicians in the Senate. UN TIME: 45 seconds
Barrasso is an orthopedic surgeon, and like many in his field he bristles at the high cost of malpractice insurance. He told a receptive AMA audience that for him, tort reform is a key part of health reform.

Democrats have resisted efforts to limit awards for injured patients. Another issue affecting Wyoming is the dwindling number of doctors willing to practice there.

Medicare pays doctors a 5% boost if work in sparsely populated areas. Barrassso says he'll help push for the provision's renewal in a doctor payment bill expected in the coming weeks.

AX We need to recruit more physicians, Wyoming is an underserved area in terms of having physicians there to practice.

Congress will have to come up with about 25 billion to prevent a cut in doctors Medicare payments, scheduled to go into effect in June.