U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) today voted in support of U.S. Senate amendment to the Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act, H.R. 4994, which passed the House today by a vote of 409-2. The bipartisan legislation, which will be sent to the White House for the President's signature, will block a 25 percent cut in Medicare payments to doctors scheduled to go into effect on January 1 through 2011.
"This measure protects many of those who are most dependent on Medicare benefits by making sure their doctors get the compensation they deserve for providing quality health care," said Pascrell, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. "It also has the added benefit of reducing the national deficit by $2.8 billion during the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office."
Other provisions of H.R. 4994 include:
Extension of Transitional Medical Assistance (TMA). Transitional Medical Assistance (TMA) allows low-income families to maintain their Medicaid coverage as they transition into employment and increase their earnings. TMA expires December 31, 2010. This bill extends TMA through December 31, 2011.
Extension of the Qualifying Individual (QI) Program. This program allows Medicaid to pay the Medicare Part B premiums for low-income Medicare beneficiaries with incomes between 120 percent and 135 percent of poverty. The QI program expires December 31, 2010. This bill extends the QI program through December 31, 2011.
Extension of Exceptions Process for Medicare Therapy Caps. Current law sets annual per beneficiary payment limits for all outpatient therapy services provided by non-hospital providers. HHS was required to implement an exceptions process for cases in which the provision of additional therapy services was determined to be medically necessary. The bill extends the therapy caps exception process through December 31, 2011.
Clarification of the Enrollment Period for Veterans Who Participate in Medicare Part B and TRICARE. The bill clarifies that disabled veterans making Medicare Part B elections on and after March 23, 2010 are eligible for a 12-month special enrollment period to ensure that they properly enroll in Medicare Part B and retain their TRICARE eligibility.
This legislation is supported by the AARP and the American Medical Association.