This week, I voted with majority of my colleagues in the House of Representatives to block the 25 percent cut in Medicare payments to doctors. The Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act, which passed by a vote of 409 to 2, will ensure that seniors and military families will be able to continue seeing their doctors through 2011. The bill passed unanimously in the Senate this week as well and will now be sent to the President to be signed into law.
The Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act will provide extensions of key expiring health care provisions. This year-long solution gives doctors the certainty they need and gives patients the stability and peace of mind that they deserve, especially during these difficult economic times.
This legislation will protect access to doctors for Medicare beneficiaries and military families who participate in TRICARE, the health care program for active-duty services members, National Guard and Reserve members, military retirees and their families.
Several other conditions in the bill include clarifying the enrollment period for veterans who participate in Medicare Part B and TRICARE and ensuring that eligible children's hospitals still have access to discounts for expensive drugs to treat rare disorders.
I am pleased that we were able to continue to block the cuts in Medicare payments to doctors. It is my hope that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will come together in the next year to work towards an agreement on a long term fix in order to protect our seniors and military families and their access to doctors in the future.