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Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 - Motion to Proceed

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

MEDICARE IMPROVEMENTS FOR PATIENTS AND PROVIDERS ACT OF 2008--MOTION TO PROCEED -- (Senate - June 26, 2008)

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Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, let me be clear, my side, led by Senator Grassley, has been willing to compromise to get a bill that could become law. Everyone agrees we need to fix the physician payment system. There is no disagreement on that. As Senator Grassley has pointed out, we have offered to negotiate. We have offered to extend current law. We have tried to find a way to solve the problem. Unfortunately, the majority apparently is not interested. The bill we are voting on would cause 2 million seniors to lose the extra benefits they currently get in their Medicare Advantage plans. It would rob millions of rural seniors of the ability to choose a private fee-for-service plan. I worry about the impact that it would have on the Kentucky teacher retirement system.

We have a solution that would protect seniors' access to care, that would prevent a 10.6-percent cut in physician payments in Medicare, that would provide billions of dollars to help rural beneficiaries access care. This is a solution that could become law right away. I hope the majority can find a way to take one of the solutions we are offering so that physician payments are not cut and seniors' Medicare benefits are not put in jeopardy.

I yield back the remainder of my time.

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