Statement from Congressman Mike Capuano on the Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act

November 19, 2009

"I voted in favor of HR 3961, the Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act. It is an important issue and an essential piece of the health care reform bill recently passed by the House. I am pleased to support this bill.

"Current law calls for a 21% cut in Medicare payments made to doctors starting in January. Typically, Congress has had to block these rate cuts on a yearly basis but this is short sighted and dangerous to the continued viability of Medicare. Simply put, the reimbursement rate has not kept pace with inflation. While no one wants to pay more for health care, it is critically important that Medicare offer a realistic fee schedule to physicians who treat individuals with Medicare so that they can continue to provide services. HR 3961 offers a permanent fix while also instituting key congressional fiscal constraints in the form of statutory Pay As You Go.

"The Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act addresses the growing disparity between services rendered by health care providers and the Medicare reimbursement rate with a permanent, sustainable solution. Additionally, not only does this change positively impact Medicare recipients, it will also benefit military personnel and their families who rely on TRICARE — since its rates are tied to Medicare's — for their health coverage."