U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL-13th) today issued the following statement after the House passed an unpaid-for "doc fix" bill amending Medicare physician reimbursement rates while adding over $200 billion to the federal deficit. The bill, H.R. 3961, was approved largely along party lines by a vote of 243 to 183.
"We cannot allow American seniors to lose access to high-quality doctors and the medical care they need. Congress needs to stop bucking this problem down the road, and fix Medicare's flawed formula in a financially sustainable way. Unfortunately, the bill House leaders brought forward today would add hundreds of billions in unfunded obligations to our deficit and raise seniors' health premiums by $49 billion over the next decade. In fact, the Senate rejected a nearly identical bill by 53 bipartisan votes earlier this fall.
"That's why I supported a responsible alternative that would have paid our physicians fairly without adding to the nation's debt. Our alternative would fully fund the doc fix' by implementing medical malpractice reform, eliminating red tape in the Medicare program, and speeding the release of lower-cost prescription drugs. Unfortunately, House leaders rejected better solutions and chose instead to waste time sending another debt-laden bill to the Senate, where this irresponsible, unfunded approach already has been rejected once."