Murray, Cantwell Applaud Passage of Bill Protecting Washington State Seniors from Drastic Cuts to Medicare

Jun 22 2010

Bill reverses 21% Medicare rate cut, increases payments by 2.2% to doctors treating seniors, veterans

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) applauded the Senate passage of fully paid for legislation that reverses the devastating 21% cut in Medicare reimbursement rates and increases doctor payments by 2.2% for six months. This bill passed by unanimous consent following weeks of Republicans obstruction when it was a part of the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act. Although this piece of that critical legislation passed, other pieces critical for Washington state such as the FMAP extension continue to be obstructed.

“I am so glad that we were finally able to pass this bill that makes sure seniors and veterans across Washington state continue to be able to access the health care they need and deserve,” said Senator Patty Murray. “This was a major victory for our state’s families, but I not going to stop fighting for other Washington state priorities currently being held up by Senate Republicans. Extending FMAP would fill a major hole in the state budget while avoiding a special-session of the state legislature. It would also prevent layoffs and support families across Washington state who are reeling from job losses and fighting to get back on their feet.”

“I am thrilled that the Senate has passed this vitally important legislation for our seniors and our health care providers,” Senator Cantwell said. “It gives seniors, veterans, and the long-term disabled access to care they deserve and provides doctors with the predictability they need without increasing the federal deficit. Now we need to work on a long-term solution so that Medicare users and providers are not at the mercy of congressional politics year in and year out.”

This bill now needs to be passed by the House of Representatives and signed by the President early next week in order for checks to not have to be sent out to providers that include the 21% cuts.