DSCC- Senator Sununu and President Bush: Putting Insurance Companies Ahead of Seniors

As Senate rebuffs Bush veto, GOP Senator continues to stand by Medicare cuts

Today, as both the United States House and Senate voted by large bi-partisan margins to override George Bush’s veto of a bill preventing steep cuts to Medicare, Republican Senator John Sununu stood by the President and the insurance companies and voted to sustain the veto. The bill Bush vetoed and Sununu voted against will prevent steep cuts in Medicare and will improve mental health access for both veterans and seniors and strengthen Medicare programs for rural seniors. It is paid for by ending costly overpayments to private insurance companies and HMOs participating in Medicare. Without passage of the legislation, millions of seniors would have been unable to easily access care as many doctors were expected to stop seeing Medicare patients.

“If Sununu got his way and Bush’s veto stood, doctors, seniors, troops and their families all would have faced devastating effects,” DSCC spokesman Matthew Miller said. “Luckily other legislators stood up for New Hampshire’s seniors and service members today, but it’s a shame their own senator refused to fight on their behalf. Unfortunately for John Sununu, the insurance companies may have filled his campaign coffers with cash, but they won’t be able to fill the voting booths for him this fall.”

On July 1, reimbursement rates to physicians under Medicare and the military health program, TRICARE, were cut by 10.6% under a statutory formula widely regarded as outdated. Congress has passed legislation reversing scheduled cuts each year since 2003. The bill garnered overwhelming bipartisan support in the House, passing 355-59, and passed the Senate last week 69-30. Both chambers of Congress voted to override Bush’s veto today, the House by 383-41 and the Senate by 70-26.

Sununu Voted For The Third Time In As Many Weeks To Put Insurance Companies And HMOs Over Doctors And Seniors. For the third time in two weeks, Sen. Sununu todayvoted against preventing a 10.6 percent cut in Medicare reimbursement rates todoctors. The bill is paid for by ending costly overpayments to private insurance companies and HMOs participating in Medicare, while improving bothmental health access for veterans and Medicare programs for ruralseniors. [Vote 160, 6/26/08; Vote169, 7/9/08;Vote 177, 7/15/08]

SununuVoted To Cut Medicaid Funding Or Against Increased Funding At Least 13Times. Sincecoming to Congress, Sununu has voted to cut or against increased funding forMedicare at least thirteen times. [Vote 92, 3/22/07;Vote 62, 3/16/06;Vote 363, 12/21/05;Vote 303, 11/3/05;Vote 287, 11/3/05;Vote 291, 11/3/05;Vote 7, 1/7/03;Vote 21, 1/23/03;Vote 89, 3/25/03;Vote 166, 6/5/97;Vote 241, 6/25/97;Vote 343, 7/30/97;Vote 345, 7/30/97]

SununuHas Received $649,874 From the Insurance Industry.

AmericanMedical Association Blasted Republicans Who Blocked Bill. 6/27/08]

WithoutA Fix, 60% Of Doctors Would Stop Seeing New Medicare Patients. 6/9/08