This week, the House passed the Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act, a bill to protect seniors’ access to doctors by permanently reforming the way Medicare pays physicians. The legislation repeals a 21% reduction in physician payments scheduled to take place in January 2010, and replaces it with a sustainable system that ends the cycle of short-term patches and threats of payment cuts.
Attached to the Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act is Statutory “Pay-As-You-Go” legislation, a proven tool for turning deficits to surpluses. Under PAYGO, Congress will be forced to make the tough decisions necessary to ensure our nation pays for what it buys. Restoring our nation’s fiscal health will not be quick or easy and the enactment of PAYGO will not erase our nation's deficits on its own, but reinstating this common-sense principle is a key first step. I hope the Senate will join us and act quickly to put PAYGO into law.
The Senate is expected to take a procedural vote this weekend in order to proceed with debate on its version of health reform legislation. House Democrats remain committed to reform that will make health care more affordable, accessible and secure for all Americans. I look forward to working with the Senate in the weeks ahead to accomplish these goals.
Next week, House Members will return to their Districts to be with their families and constituents as our Nation celebrates Thanksgiving. When we return, we will keep discussing options to help create jobs and grow the economy and continue our work on health reform.