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America's Greatest Generation - Our Senior Citizens

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mrs. LUMMIS. I thank the gentlelady from Missouri.

Among the topics we've been discussing tonight is the effects of ObamaCare, the Affordable Care Act, on Medicare. One of the things that I believe is the most egregious is that when the $500 billion was taken out of Medicare to fund ObamaCare, it puts Medicare in a position where access to Medicare becomes a problem; and it becomes a big problem in States like mine, the State of Wyoming, a very rural place. We've got a dearth of physicians.

Every time a Medicare patient walks into their offices, that physician is losing money because the doctors are reimbursed at amounts less than the cost to provide the service. That's happening elsewhere in the country as well, Mr. Speaker.

We know from what the former CBO Director, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, said at a hearing in July of this year, and I quote, Today, Medicare coverage no longer guarantees access to care. Seniors enrolled in the Medicare program face barriers to accessing primary care physicians, as well as medical and surgical specialists.

He cited an example of the clinics that Mayo has in Arizona that are no longer accepting Medicare patients into their primary care facility. This is happening all over my State. I think it happens a lot in rural areas.

So the concern that we have of taking money out of Medicare and not using it to fix physician and hospital compensation, and, instead, taking it to create a whole new program for non-seniors was a big mistake, a huge, huge barrier to making sure that seniors and seniors-to-be, such as people in my age group, those of us 55 and older, will know that we have access to Medicare, the Medicare that we've paid into.

I commend my colleagues for having this Special Order tonight and raising these issues. I want to commend you and thank you for the opportunity to participate as well.

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