MEDICARE, MEDICAID, AND SCHIP EXTENSION ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - December 19, 2007)
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Mrs. BLACKBURN. Madam Speaker, I want to compliment Mr. Barton and Mr. Deal for the extraordinary amount of work they have done on this issue this entire year. I know that they are pleased that the congressional leadership has joined them in working to be certain that we take the politics out of this issue and we keep the focus on how we address the health care needs of our Nation's most vulnerable, our children and our elderly.
A couple of things that we are going to see in this bill, as you have already heard, the Medicare physician payment schedule, the cut that was to take place is not going to. They are going to see a half percent increase through June 2008. My hope is that we will be able to have the majority work with us to resolve this issue.
I think it is just unconscionable that every single year this SGR gets revisited and we try to work it through. We know that this is something that we are going to be providing. It is a service. Health care is going to be provided for our Medicare enrollees. And, Madam Speaker, this needs to be dealt with and the problem needs to be solved.
I am also pleased that SCHIP is going to be extended through March 2009 and that we are keeping the focus there on standing in the gap between those children that are not eligible for Medicare and those that have the ability to afford private health insurance. This gets back to the original intent of that program to be certain that the children of the working poor are covered.
I am also pleased that this contains the 6-month extension of critical funding for the Tennessee Medicaid DSH payments to our hospitals.
Madam Speaker, there should be some lessons learned from the 1115 waiver process that my State of Tennessee has been through and through the experiment of HILLARY CLINTON health care and the failures of that. As we move forward, I hope we look at those lessons learned.
I appreciate this legislation does provide those DSH payments to these hospitals. I look forward to working with the majority.
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