Office of Congresswoman Shea-Porter - Shea-Porter Applauds Senate Passage of Medicare Bill

Supports Seniors’ Right to Visit Their Own Doctors

Washington, DC Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter today applauded the Senate for passing the Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (H.R. 6331). The bill was overwhelmingly passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 by a vote of 355 to 59. However, two days later, on June 26, it fell just one vote short of the 60 votes needed to advance in the Senate. Today, the Senate reconsidered and passed the bill by a vote of 69 to 30. It will now be sent to the President for his signature.

I am very concerned about maintaining seniors’ access to health care,” stated Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “I urge the President to protect the health of our senior citizens and sign this important bill into law.”

The bill would reverse a 10.6% cut to physician payments through Medicare that went into effect on July 1 and would ensure that senior citizens can continue to receive care from the doctors they trust. Without the payment cut reversal, many doctors may be forced to stop seeing their Medicare patients and many will be unable to accept any new Medicare patients.

The Administration must act immediately to prevent these devastating Medicare payment cuts,” Congresswoman Shea-Porter declared. “The President needs to focus on protecting seniors instead of the insurance companies.”

The Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 is supported by both physicians groups such as the American Medical Association (AMA) and by prominent senior citizens’ advocacy groups such as the AARP.