Statement on Medicare on House Floor

Transcript: 

... that's absolutely wrong. we are -- we would if we support this veto, we would continue that outrage this is something that needs to be corrected. i'm now happy to yield to my dear friend, the distinguished majority leader, mr. hoyer, one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. hoyer: i thank the chairman for yielding. and i would observe, as i have before on this floor, that there's no member of this house ha has been any more deeply or any more passionately or any more effectively to protect, preserve, and expand the availability of health care to the american people more than my friend, john dingell, the chairman of the committee. i want to congratulate him for his, not only he has done that, but his father before him did that as well. last week we watched as senator ted kennedy returned from the treatment of his brain cancer to cast his vote in favor of this vital medicare bill. i don't have to tell you how many of us in both chambers were moved to see that life-long crusader for health care come back to cast one more vote for america's seniors. with that as inspiration, the senate joined the house in vote big overwhelming margins for legislation that would and does replace a 10.6% payment cut for thousands of doctors and medicare with a 1.1% increase. a cut that would put at risk coverage and availability of doctors for seniors. the bill extends expire pg provisions and bonus payments critical to rural communities and providers. the bill expand the preventive services available to our seniors. the bill phases mental health parity into the medicare program and it improves programs for our low-income seniors, about whom all of us are concerned. 355 of us in this house voted to pass this legislation. 355 in an overwhelming bipartisan vote which said, this is good legislation. our people need it. and we're going to pass it. 69 members in the united states senate stood up and supported this piece of legislation. i was pleased to see so many republicans lining up with us. this is an overwhelmingly bipartisan bill as it was sent to the president of the united states. preventing these medicare cuts isn't a republican issue or a democratic issue. it's an issue of protecting and preserving the health care that over 44 million seniors count on, depend on, and yes, deserve. our message to the president was unambiguous. we will stand with our seniors and our health care providers, our military families and our disabled. and when it comes to protecting and preserving the health care they demend on, we'll put aside party politics and we will stand together. 355 of us, 69 in the senate. today, president bush decided that the overwhelming majority of the congress was wrong. he'll have to put -- to explain to america's seniors why he was so willing to stand between them and their health care. but thankfully, we don't have to take no for an answer. thankfully, the constitution provides us with the ultimate policy-making authority. i expect, hope, and urge that the 355 of us that stood for this legislation just a short time ago do so again today. not in opposition to the president, but as a proponent of legislation which seeks to solve a problem to and provide health care for our seniors. i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to override this misguided veto and with their support this bill for our seniors will become law. and they will be better for it. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. barton: i yield three minutes to the member of the energy and commerce committee, mr. rogers of michigan. mr. rogers: i rise in opposition, this is a horrible bayway to do what we're trying to do, i think this is my eighth time of trying to fix what is a bad system of telling doctors every year you're going to be cut unless we do something. horrible system. i think we all agree we have to do something. but something really ...