Bono Mack Votes to Extend Critical Funding for Children Health Care, Medicare
In an effort to extend critical funding for children's health care and Medicare, Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (CA-45) voted in favor of the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007. Passing by a vote of 411-3, this bill temporarily prevents cuts to physicians' payments under Medicare, extends the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) through March 31, 2009, and provides additional funding to cover states' shortfalls.
"I am pleased that this bill authorizes a longer-term extension of SCHIP funding," said Bono. "By extending funds beyond the next election cycle, it is my hope that Congress can move beyond political gamesmanship and pass meaningful legislation for our children in a reasonable and bipartisan manner. As we have unfortunately seen this year, when an issue as important as children's health care becomes a political football, those most vulnerable are the ones who pay the price.
Bono Mack notes that almost 26,000 children living in California's 45th District depend on SCHIP funding, and over 835,000 children throughout California.
The Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act will also replace the scheduled 10.1 percent cut to the Medicare physician reimbursement rate in 2008 with a 0.5 percent increase through June 30, 2008.
"I am also pleased that this bill delays the impending pay cut for doctors who treat Medicare patients. However, we must continue to work to find a permanent solution to the physician payment system. Doctors should not be faced year after year with uncertain payment rates, and our seniors deserve to be assured of access to the affordable and adequate health care that they need."