Shea-Porter Votes to Protect Seniors' Access to Their Doctors

Legislation will prevent critical Medicare payment cuts

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter voted for the Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act.  This legislation will help fix the way Medicare pays physicians, which will help preserve seniors’ access to their doctors.  The legislation passed by a vote of 243 to 183. 

This bill strengthens Medicare and helps ensure that New Hampshire seniors have access to the doctors they know and trust,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “Our seniors rely on Medicare and this legislation will help ensure that they continue to receive the care they need.”  

At the end of the day, ensuring access to one’s doctor continues to be a high priority for Medicare beneficiaries—and for AARP.  We believe that H.R. 3961 meets this goal by permanently fixing the current flawed payment formula and replacing it with a new payment system which protects access to physicians by paying them fairly and better rewarding them for providing primary care and preventive services,” said AARP State Director Kelly Clark.

The Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act prevents payment cuts that could force some doctors to stop seeing Medicare patients. Without legislation, there is scheduled to be a 21% cut in payments that would go into effect in January 2010. 

The legislation builds on the Affordable Health Care for America Act, which will close the Medicare Part D “Donut Hole,” extend Medicare solvency by five years, end discrimination for pre-existing conditions, and lower premiums for middle class workers and families.  

Both the AARP and the American Medical Association have endorsed our bills because they lower costs and improve care for our seniors,” Shea-Porter said.