CHICAGO (AP) – The upcoming cuts in Medicare physician payments will be catastrophic for seniors, the president of the nation’s largest doctors’ group says.

Dr. Cecil Wilson, president of the American Medical Association, said Medicare payments will drop by more than 20 percent by January unless Congress takes quick action.

Many seniors will lose access to needed care because some doctors will stop accepting Medicare patients, Wilson said. He adds it’s a question of medical practices remaining financially viable.

The Chicago-based AMA is running full-page newspaper ads and wants a 13-month reprieve so a permanent solution can be sought.

Wilson spoke out against the cuts Monday at the AMA’s interim meeting in San Diego.

The AMA has long complained the Medicare payment system is flawed. But it’s unknown if Congress will scrap the cuts, or even give doctors the full reprieve they’re seeking.

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