PALLONE STATEMENT ON THE MEDICARE IMPROVEMENTS FOR PATIENTS & PROVIDERS ACT OF 2008
U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, gave the following statement on the House floor during debate on H.R. 6331, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008.
The legislation prevents the pending 10 percent payment reduction for physicians in Medicare, enhances Medicare preventive and mental health benefits, improves and extends programs for low-income Medicare beneficiaries, and extends expiring provisions for rural and other providers.
"Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise in strong support of H.R. 6331, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008, and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to offer their support as well.
"H.R. 6331 would make a number of improvements that are important to protecting the health and wellbeing of our seniors. The legislation also addresses the reimbursement concerns of doctors who treat Medicare beneficiaries. It is also completely paid for by implementing sensible reforms to the Medicare Advantage program that are supported by almost every expert body, including MedPAC and GAO.
"Madam Speaker, while I still believe that the CHAMP Act, which the House passed last year, was the best way to address Medicare's future, the bill before us today is a reasonable compromise that both Democrats and Republicans should support.
"In the end, this legislation would allow us to take the steps necessary to keep Medicare working for America's seniors, doctors, and taxpayers. With less than a week to go before the impending physician cuts go into effect, it is time to put politics aside and pass this commonsense policy."