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Affordable Health Care for America Act

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. MAFFEI. Mr. Speaker, many of the doctors in my Upstate New York district have started to turn away new Medicare patients because of the 21 percent cut that has already started, and seniors are fearful that their physicians may soon drop out of Medicare altogether. Those doctors who still accept seniors have taken huge risks with their practice. At a time when we should be promoting improved access to physicians, a doctor payment cut of this magnitude will only decrease access, especially for our seniors, and sometimes with tragic results.

Seniors and their doctors should not pay the price for partisan politics. They should have the peace of mind to know that the doctor of their choice will be available to see them. And physicians should know that the work they perform will be reimbursed fairly, without having to worry about cuts month after month.

Now, Mr. Speaker, while it is clear that the Medicare payment system is broken and needs to be fixed permanently, there is an urgent need to provide an immediate and temporary solution. If you cannot cure the patient, at least find a treatment. If you cannot administer a long-term treatment, at least stop the bleeding.

Mr. Speaker, this band-aid is just that. It stops the bleeding temporarily. But lives and livelihoods are hanging in the balance. We have made a commitment to provide for our seniors, and I will stand with our seniors and our physicians.

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