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Providing a One-Year Extension for Medicare Physician Payment Rates

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, as a physician and now as a legislator, I, frankly, do not understand the way our government continues to treat those who care for America's patients.

Earlier this month, I introduced legislation, H.R. 6142, to provide a 1-year extension for Medicare physician payment rates. This allows patients to continue to have access to their physicians in the next year.

Look, this is no mystery. We all know the last patch is going to expire on December 31. We all know that before December 31 of this year that somehow we'll cobble together and provide another patch. Why not do that now? Why make them wait until the deadline? They can't plan. They can't grow their practices. They can't expand because they don't know what their government is going to do to them.

Further compounding the problem this year is the specter of sequestration that occurs on January 1. No matter how you slice it, it's another 2 percent cut on top of the 27 to 29 percent cut they are already going to get under the SGR.

Let's do the right thing. We could pass this bill under suspension this afternoon. We could provide our Nation's physicians the stability and the certainty that they need to continue to see the patients we've asked them to serve.

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