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Bono Mack Protects Seniors' Access to Health Care

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC


In Veto Override, Bono Mack Seeks To Reverse Cut to Medicare Physician Payments

Voting to override the President's veto, Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (CA-45) today helped ensure that millions of seniors have access to the health care they need. The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Provider Act, H.R. 6331, will reverse the 10.6 percent cut in reimbursement to Medicare physicians that took effect on July 1 and has been threatening access to health care for seniors and for military families that depend on the TRICARE system.

"The millions of seniors who depend on Medicare deserve to have this problem solved," said Bono Mack. "I am proud to protect seniors' access to health care and ensure that our hardworking physicians are not penalized by a faulty payment formula. By temporarily extending these payments, it is my hope that we can work to develop a long term, sustainable solution to this very critical issue."

Bono Mack notes that sixty percent of California physicians say that if the Medicare physician payment cuts were to be enacted they would be forced to stop taking new patients or leave the Medicare program altogether.

"I am also pleased that this bill provides an 18 month delay of the Durable Medical Equipment (DME) Competitive Bidding Program, which began in Riverside County on July 1, 2008. It is important that we move forward in a way that will ensure that Medicare beneficiaries in our region and across the country will be able to get the DME such as oxygen equipment and power wheelchairs that they need."

The intent of the competitive bidding program is to increase competition among providers and lower prices for seniors and taxpayers. This moratorium will provide a critical window of time in which Congress can work with CMS to address administrative concerns that compromised the original bidding process, according to Bono Mack.

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