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Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008--Continued

Location: Washington, DC

MEDICARE IMPROVEMENTS FOR PATIENTS AND PROVIDERS ACT OF 2008--Continued -- (House of Representatives - June 24, 2008)


Mrs. BLACKBURN. I thank the gentleman from Texas.

Mr. Speaker, he mentioned earlier in his comments the lack of hearings that we have had on this issue. Indeed, this morning over in Energy and Commerce there is a hearing on health issues, but nothing to do with Medicare reform, nothing to do with this situation that is before us right now. Indeed, late notice was mentioned.

Mr. Speaker, I think that what we see here is a pattern that is developing with the majority party, and when they don't want to talk about something, they don't want to debate it on the floor, they want to maybe cover a few things into the bill, then we have it on suspension calendar. I find that very unfortunate.

I will say this. With H.R. 6331, 89 percent of our seniors in Tennessee that are enrolled in Medicare Advantage would be adversely impacted by this bill. This is something, this bill, H.R. 6331, would leave a lot of our elderly patients and doctors in peril, while the leadership in this body is playing politics with Medicare.

We have heard about the 10 percent cut on July 1. We have heard about procrastinating and leaving this until the 11th hour rather than taking significant action. Mr. Speaker, I think that we have to look at what is happening to Medicare. I am deeply concerned about this issue and how it impacts our seniors.

We know that the Medicare trust fund is likely to go bankrupt in 2019. These aren't my figures, these are the Congressional Budget Office figures. We know that this year, we hit the 45 percent trigger, which occurs when Congress is obliged to find a new way to curb Medicare spending. This bill does not do one thing to curb that spending. It makes it worse. It is unfair to our seniors.

I urge a ``no'' vote.


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