Search Form
First, enter a politician or zip code
Now, choose a category

Public Statements

Kerry Protects Massachusetts Medical Jobs in Finance Committee Markup

Press Release

By:
Date:
Location: Washington DC

Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, today thanked Chairman Baucus for agreeing to changes that protected Massachusetts' medical companies from a proposal that would have cost the state jobs by cutting Medicare payments for medical imaging services by $400 million.

Kerry successfully worked with Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) to strike the provision from the Committee's markup of the Trade Adjustment Assistance and three Free Trade Agreements negotiated by the Obama Administration.

"Medical imaging accounts for more than 10,000 jobs in Massachusetts with even bigger spin-off contributions to our state's economy," Senator Kerry said. "Whether it's the innovators who build cutting edge machines or physicians and hospitals that rely on them, medical imaging is an important sector in Massachusetts and we couldn't have afforded this cut. This was a good, open, fair process. Chairman Baucus kept an open mind, took a hard look at Massachusetts' situation, and found a fairer way to pay for trade assistance for workers. I'm very grateful to the Chairman for his flexible and collaborative approach."

Lowering Medicare reimbursement for medical imaging leads doctors to hold on to their old equipment longer, which means fewer patients get access to the newest technologies that are better at finding early-stage diseases. Massachusetts companies warned that the proposed imaging cuts would have resulted in job losses because manufacturers would have been forced to respond to decreased demand by laying-off workers and shutting down factories and research facilities.

In Massachusetts, thousands of jobs are directly tied to medical imaging technology, including 3,093 employees with Siemens, nearly 5,000 employees with Phillips, over 1,000 employees with GE Healthcare, and 550 employees with Shields Health Care Group based in Quincy, which has 30 facilities across our state.

Senator Kerry's full statement, as prepared for delivery, is below:

Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for listening to my concerns and striking a provision in this Mark that would cut Medicare payments for medical imaging services by $400 million.

As you know, Massachusetts' is the hub of medical imaging technology--from the innovators who make the cutting edge machines to the world-class physicians who rely on them. Lowering Medicare reimbursement for medical imaging leads doctors to hold on to their old equipment longer, which means fewer patients get access to the newest technologies that are better at finding early-stage diseases.

Imaging cuts also result in job losses as manufacturers of life-saving equipment have had no choice but to respond to decreased demand by laying-off workers and shutting down factories and research facilities across the country. In Massachusetts, thousands of jobs are directly tied to medical imaging technology, including 3,093 employees with Siemens, nearly 5,000 employees Phillips, over 1,000 employees with GE Healthcare, and 550 employees with Shields Health Care Group based in Quincy which has 30 facilities across our state.

I greatly appreciate you working with me to strike this provision and for understanding how important this is to Massachusetts.


Source:
Skip to top
Back to top