Democrats inability to pass the ‘extenders’ bill triggers a 21 percent cut to physician Medicare reimbursements effective June 18th

June 18, 2010

The  Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)  postponed processing claims from doctors in order to give the Democrat Majority in the Senate an opportunity to pass legislation, preventing the 21 percent reduction in Medicare claims reimbursements. However, these claims as of June 18th will now be subject to the reduction because the Senate did not act.

The House passed H.R. 4213 on May 28th without  paying  for much of the multi-billion dollar safety-net and tax provisions. Among the programs included was an extension of unemployment insurance benefits. I have remained committed to ensuring that these programs are extended to assist those most impacted by the economic downturn, however Congress has a responsibility to the taxpayer to do so in a fiscally sound manner. We cannot continue to deem these extensions as emergency spending and simply kick the can to future generations. For these reasons I could not support this measure that would have added to the staggering deficit.

When a bill has a due date, American families budget in order to make payments and meet their obligations and deadlines. Strangely enough, the Majority in Congress does not operate in the same manner. Having knowledge of the expiring tax and safety-net provisions for months, one could believe the majority would make strides to strategically plan a mechanism to pay for this spending. This has not been the case and we continue to witness the Majority push deficit spending to the extreme. From the passage of the Stimulus to the failure to enact a budget for the first time in more than 35 years, the Democrat Majority in the House has clearly indicated to the American people that they would rather throw money at a problem and hope it sticks, than put forth the effort to be good stewards of taxpayer funds.

This became even more apparent when Democrats rejected a GOP alternative that would have extended unemployment insurance through July 7th, COBRA health insurance subsidies through June 30th, kept physician Medicare reimbursements at current levels through July 1st, extended the National Flood Insurance Program through June 30th, the Small Business Administration Loan Program until June 30th, and kept federal poverty guidelines in place through June 30th – all by using unspent discretionary funds from the Stimulus.