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Public Statements

Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act Of 2009

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CANTOR. Thank you. Mr. Speaker, we have tried to do everything possible to pay for this doctor fix, and it seems that the majority just refuses to do the fiscally responsible thing. We just offered a proposal that was a fully paid doctor fix that provided our doctors with 2 percent updates for 4 years. The majority blocked this House from even voting on that proposal because they object to paying for the costs of the doctor fix.

It seems that the rules that the majority is using prevent us from paying for this bill simply because, Mr. Speaker, the majority doesn't pay for this bill. Seeing that that is the case, one has to ask how perverse is that? Because the majority is okay with adding $250 billion to our debt, the Republicans are prevented under the rules from trying to be responsible and pay for those costs. Is this what passes for fiscal responsibility in the majority party, I ask?

So now we are offering a second motion to recommit that attempts to address the deficit costs while living under the rules imposed on us by the majority. What does this motion do? Very simply, it recognizes that there is a fund already in existing law that has $22.3 billion in it that can be used to pay for the doctor fix. It further limits spending under this bill to that same amount, $22.3 billion. That is enough to provide the doctor payment updates for all of 2010 and most, if not all, of 2011 envisioned under the Democratic bill.

So we've identified, Mr. Speaker, an amount of money that is available to pay for 2 years' worth of a doctor fix and limited this bill to 2 years. A vote for this motion to recommit is a vote to recognize that we ought to help our doctors, but we ought to do it in a fiscally responsible manner, and this motion shows us how to do it. I wish we could do more, but the rules imposed on us by the majority simply won't permit it.

So now is the time to choose: Do we want to plan for a fiscally responsible doctor fix or $250 billion in new debt? Mr. Speaker, I ask this House to vote for fiscal responsibility.

I yield to the gentleman from Georgia, Dr. Price


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