News Releases

(Washington D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement after the Senate passed the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (H.R. 6331), which makes critical improvements to Medicare.  Importantly, the bill would reverse a 10.6 percent cut in reimbursements to doctors who treat Medicare patients.   

The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 69-30, and it is now headed to the President’s desk.  Although the President has threatened to veto the bill, today’s vote means that it has passed both houses of Congress by a veto-proof margin. 

Two weeks ago, Senate Republicans blocked the same bill, despite the fact that the 10.6 percent Medicare rate cut was scheduled to go into effect on July 1.  Doctors across the country have said that lower reimbursements would force them to stop seeing Medicare patients, severely limiting access to health care for millions of Americans.  However, if the President signs the legislation, the cut would be reversed, ensuring that Washington state’s seniors and disabled residents will continue to have access to medical care.

"Today, the Senate stood up for the 44.1 million seniors enrolled in Medicare and the doctors who treat them," Senator Murray said. “I’m proud that a majority of the Senate was able to put politics aside so that seniors, who paid into the Medicare system their entire lives, can continue to see a doctor when they need one.

“I hope now that President Bush will back this bill and ensure this reimbursement rate cut gets reversed,” Murray added.  “No doctor should have to choose between staying in business and taking patients.  But if this cut is allowed to stand, that’s exactly what would happen.  And seniors and the disabled would end up paying the price."

Read more information on this legislatoin.  Information on the Medicare reimbursement is in section 131.