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Garrett Supports House Passage of Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006

Location: Washington, DC

Garrett Supports House Passage of Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006

Last week, Congressman Scott Garrett voted in support of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, which included a number of critical tax relief and Medicare extensions. Specifically, the bill helps patients retain good care by preventing significant cuts for Medicare reimbursement rates for hospitals -helping seven New Jersey hospitals and others around the country keep their doors open to their patients -and also prevents a cut of as much as five percent to health care provider reimbursements rates, allowing patients to keep the providers they have chosen for care.

"I have worked hard with my colleagues for several months to see that these provisions for fair Medicare reimbursement rates would be passed before the end of this year," said Garrett. "I am pleased to see that we are taking this important step before adjourning this Congress." Garrett recently authored two letters to House leadership to urge the addition of these Medicare provisions to the House agenda in the final days of session. "We have just averted a major crisis for our healthcare industry, but we have also continued our effort to ease the tax burden on families," Garrett further stated.

Amongst its other provisions, the bill:

* Provides an additional payment for physicians that report quality measures to ensure both continued beneficiary access and improved quality of care
* Provides above-the-line deduction for higher education expenses
* Provides state and local sales tax deduction
* Treats combat pay as earned income for the purposes of the earned income credit calculation
* Provides above-the-line deduction for out-of-pocket teacher classroom expenses
* Extends credit for electricity produced from certain renewable resources
* Extends deductions and credits for energy efficient buildings
* Provides improvements to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

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