Friday, April 3, 2015

Conyers: “Doc Fix” Protects Seniors, Children, and Community Health Centers

WASHINGTON – Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13) released the following statement after voting in support of H.R. 2, The Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, which passed the House overwhelmingly with a final vote of 392-37:

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
“This bipartisan agreement will provide much-needed stability for patients, doctors, and hospitals, while ensuring funding for essential children’s insurance programs and community health centers.  Had Congress failed to act, doctors would have faced steep cuts in Medicare reimbursements and, accordingly, seniors with health coverage would have been left without care. For years, Medicare’s payments to healthcare providers have failed to keep pace with inflation, leading doctors around the country to refuse seeing Medicare patients.  Crucially, this permanent “doc fix” legislation protects all current beneficiaries from cost increases.

“Equally important to fixing Medicare’s broken payment system, today’s bipartisan agreement safeguards health investments for children and struggling families. The legislation includes a two year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) while avoiding the GOP’s desired funding cuts.  The legislation also includes $7.2 billion in funding over two years for the Community Health Center Program created under the Affordable Care Act.  Detroit has seven Community Health Centers that serve nearly 100,000 patients per year, 70 percent of whom are low-income. Without this funding, Detroit’s Community Health Centers would have been forced to turn away patients or even close their doors.”

“Having served as a champion for Medicare since voting for its creation in 1965, I strongly reject any attempts to shift the costs of care to struggling and vulnerable beneficiaries.  I supported this legislation because it contains important safeguards to protect people in need, and because it will help ensure that Americans—both young and old—maintain their access to quality healthcare.”

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