Thursday, November 19, 2009

Congressman Shuster on Speaker Pelosi's "Doc Fix"

“Doctors who treat Medicare patients must be reimbursed properly to avoid a breakdown in care,” Shuster said. “However, it’s time for the Democrats in Congress to realize that when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. Congress is digging America a budgetary hole and we can’t afford to be buried $210 billion deeper.”

Medicare reimbursement to doctors is scheduled to fall by 21.5 percent in January and by another 2 percent every year after that under a complex formula known as the sustainable growth rate. Speaker Pelosi’s “doc fix” legislation would address the falling reimbursement rates paid to doctors for treating Medicare patients by eliminating the sustainable growth rate. The cost for this “doc fix” is $210 billion, which will not be paid for by Congress and will add to our growing deficit. In addition, because the cost of the Democrats’ “doc fix” is not offset, that $210 billion could spiral into a $1.9 trillion increase in Medicare’s unfunded liabilities over a 75 year period.

“It would be dishonest and simply irresponsible for the government to pay doctors with borrowed money,” Shuster said. “The alternative Republican ‘doc fix’ I support and voted for today is the right way to uphold our commitment to doctors, the patients they treat and the American taxpayer by not adding one dime to the deficit.”

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