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SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I want to point out that none of the delays that Mr. Upton indicated on that chart would result in 13 million people losing insurance coverage and raise premiums 10-20 percent. This is not a delay that we can agree to. It hurts the Affordable Care Act, and it is a betrayal of our working together on a bipartisan basis to resolve this problem. We worked together on the policy, but we were never brought in to work together on funding that policy.

At this time I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Gene Green).


Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 2 minutes.

This should be a moment of bipartisanship where we finally fix this sustainable growth rate in Medicare physician reimbursement. None of us think it is supportable. Doctors are always facing the peril of a deep cut if we don't patch it up or fix it permanently. It is time to fix it permanently.

We worked together on a bipartisan basis on our committee and came up with a policy to replace the SGR. The Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee followed us, and they did their approach, and we all worked out one uniform approach with the idea that we are finally going to end this nonsense of threatening the doctors that take care of Medicare patients.

This is an issue of patient access to medical care that has been promised under Medicare; yet the Republicans are now insisting we pay for the permanent fix. Well, this has come up many, many times. Sometimes, we paid for it, but sometimes, we didn't pay for it; but we always made sure that there was a fix on a bipartisan basis.

Instead, today, the Republicans, without talking to us--they wanted to talk to us about the policy, but without talking to us--are trying to pay for this by hurting the Affordable Care Act.

What they are doing is putting a partisan poison pill offset, an offset that would cause 13 million people to lose insurance coverage and would raise premiums by 10 to 20 percent for everybody else in the exchange. They have to know this is not acceptable; we can't support it.

They are now coming here to the floor saying that there is some attempt by the Democrats to undermine our policy agreement. Well, let's stop blaming each other. Let's get to work and resolve this problem and vote down this bill.

I reserve the balance of my time.


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