Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor this morning on H.R. 4302, a short-term fix to the sustainable growth rate (SGR) for Medicare payments to doctors. Below are his remarks and a link to the video:
Click here to watch the video.
"I thank the Gentleman for yielding. Perhaps we ought to have a criteria of everybody who has read this bill can vote on it. My bet is there would be very few Members who would be able to vote on this bill. This is an eight-page summary of this bill, with probably fifty paragraphs in it about changes that have been affected in the Medicare system. None of us know what the substance of this bill is. We had a lot of rhetoric in 2010 about reading the bills. I challenge any Member to come up here and say 'I have read this bill.'
"I am for a permanent fix in the sustainable growth rate for doctors. I have pledged that for the last four or five years. We have a bipartisan agreement to affect that exact end. But, as so often is the case, we do not have the courage to rationally fund that agreement. That is why America is in trouble fiscally.
"This is a game unworthy of this institution and of the American people. It is unfortunate that we have been put in this position with less than forty-eight hours notice of what's in this bill. To do something that all of us know needs to be done. The doctors of America, at least the organized doctors of America, have said 'vote no on this bill.' Because they know, we know, the Wall Street Journal knows, we have to fix this permanently. Not patch it every year. It's a fraud. And both sides have committed that fraud. And we ought to stop it.
"We ought to fix this. Americans ought to expect us to fix it. The doctors expect us to fix it. Seniors expect us to fix it. What a lamentable fact we cannot summon the courage and the judgement and the wisdom to do just that."