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Public Statements

Issue Position: Medicare

Issue Position

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How to care for an aging population is an issue that is currently challenging us. Medicare has certainly answered that challenge by helping millions of American seniors live healthy lives. The program consists of Part A (which covers hospital stays), Part B (which covers outpatient treatment), Part C (a Medicare managed care option), and Part D (which covers prescription drugs).

On July 15, 2008, Congress overrode President Bush's veto on H.R. 6331, "The Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act," and the bill became law. As law, H.R. 6331 - which I supported in original passage and veto override - prevented the 1 July cuts from occuring and maintains the current payment rates of .5% for the remainder of the current year. It replaces the 5.4% cut in 2009 and with a 1.1% increase in Medicare physician payments. It also includes prompt payment of Part D claims for pharmacists which would guarantee that pharmacists are reimbursed in a timely manner for prescriptions that have already been dispensed. In addition, H.R. 6331 prevents average market price (AMP) cuts.


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