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Public Statements

Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act Of 2009

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act Of 2009

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 3961.

It goes without saying that I recognize that doctors are the backbone of Medicare and our health care system in general. As such, they must be compensated by the federal government in a manner that allows them to recover their expenses at the very least. I have been very supportive of providing doctors with a fair and equitable reimbursement for their services.

I recognize that an increasing number of physicians are finding it financially impossible to treat Medicare patients and another reduction in reimbursement levels would encourage more doctors to drop Medicare patients, endangering the health of the most vulnerable of our society--the frail elderly.

I have also been informed that nearly one-third of physicians in America are near or have actually achieved retirement age.

It would not take much in terms of lower reimbursements or additional bureaucratic red tape to encourage them to close their practices, further limiting access to quality health care for many older Americans.

I have supported Medicare fee "fix'' legislation over the years. However, this bill is different. It is not "paid for'' and presents another unnecessary blow to our embattled taxpayers and future generations of Americans.

Enough is enough! We have to stop spending borrowed federal dollars like there is no tomorrow!

As I stated earlier, I understand that we must prevent the Medicare physician reimbursement level from being slashed by a catastrophic 21 percent. But the $285 billion cost of this legislation can and must be offset.

I suggest that the unspent balance of the failed economic stimulus bill is a great place to start.

Mr. Speaker, I urge defeat of the bill.

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