Murray: Drastic Doctor Reimbursement Cuts 'Appalling,' Caused by Republican Senator 'Putting Politics over Seniors'

Mar 01 2010

Murray vows to reverse the 21% cut in Medicare reimbursement rates, continue fighting for long-term solution that is fair to Washington state doctors and seniors

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) issued the following statement on the day that a 21% cut in the Medicare reimbursement rate goes into effect for doctors across the country. The cut comes after a Republican senator blocked a critical bill that would have extended rates at current levels until a long-term fix could be completed.

“I am absolutely appalled at the shocking disregard that one Republican senator displayed for doctors and seniors when he blocked a bill that would have prevented the drastic 21% cut faced by doctors starting today.

“When he put politics over seniors, this Republican senator may have thought he was hurting Democrats, but he was really hurting senior citizens and the doctors who work every day to care for them.

“I am going to keep fighting to not only overturn this 21% pay cut, but also make sure that any doctor who sees a senior citizen in the next few days will be reimbursed retroactively at the full level. We can’t afford for doctors to turn away seniors because they can’t afford to see them.

“We need to quickly pass a bill that would overturn these devastating cuts. I am hoping that the single Republican senator who is holding this up will allow us to move forward to help doctors and seniors, but I am prepared to fight to beat this obstruction back.

“I am also committed to fighting for a long-term Medicare reimbursement solution that works for Washington state’s seniors and is fair for Washington state’s doctors.”

Senator Murray has been a long-time supporter of a Medicare reimbursement system that treats Washington state doctors fairly. Murray reintroduced the MediFair Act last year that ensures that Washington state’s seniors are on par with seniors around the country and stops punishing the state’s health care system for providing efficient, quality care. Murray has also fought for the health insurance reform legislation to include a Medicare reimbursement system that puts more emphasis on quality of care over quantity, and moves us toward a system that is fairer to Washington state doctors and seniors.