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Press Release

    An Open Letter to the United States Senate

    Click here for PDF.

    Dear Senator:

    On behalf of the millions of members represented by the undersigned groups, we urge you to oppose S. 1776, the “Medicare Physician Fairness Act,” and its appalling and dishonest attempt to mask the tremendous costs health care reform will impose upon American families and businesses. Considering the enormity and complexity of our health care system, the American people deserve honesty and transparency in a reform debate. This kind of legislative scheming fails to live up to the high standards to which this Congress claims to aspire.

    Introduced by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), S. 1776 would raise reimbursements for physicians through Medicare to the tune of $247 billion over 10 years. While this so-called “doc fix” has merit under the right circumstances as a means of preventing further erosion of physician participation in the Medicare program, this legislation contains no spending reductions elsewhere to offset its considerable cost. It would require that the Senate vote to waive its own budget rules, intended to protect taxpayers, and would represent a violation of “PAYGO” rules in the House as well. Perhaps more importantly, it serves as a deceptive measure to reduce the perceived cost of various plans for comprehensive health care overhaul

    Earlier this month, one such piece of legislation introduced by Finance Committee Chairman Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) received a 10-year cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office of $829 billion. It achieved a score more than $200 billion lower than the $1.042 trillion plan drafted by the late Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee in part by reducing physician reimbursements through Medicare. By engineering a $247 billion reversal of part of the Baucus bill in separate legislation, it is clear that some leaders in Congress had no intent of allowing those reductions to take effect.

    If Congress seeks a “doc fix,” it should draft it into comprehensive health care reform legislation and allow it to be debated in proper context. Splitting higher reimbursements into a separate piece of legislation can only be an underhanded bait-and-switch attempt to deceive an American public that deserves better.

    Sincerely,

    The Undersigned

    Matt Kibbe

    President and CEO

    FreedomWorks

     

    John Tillman

    CEO

    Illinois Policy Institute

     

    Michelle D. Bernard

    President and CEO

    Independent Women’s Voice

     

    Colin A. Hanna

    President

    Let Freedom Ring

     

    Forest Thigpen

    President

    Mississippi Center for Public Policy

     

    Jim Stergios

    Executive Director

    Pioneer Institute (MA)

     

    John McCollister

    Executive Director

    Platte Institute for Economic Research (NE)

     

    Duane Parde

    President

    National Taxpayers Union

     

    Jim Martin

    President

    60 Plus Association

     

    George Watson, D.O.

    President

    Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

     

    Susan A. Carleson

    Chairman, CEO, and Treasurer

    The American Civil Rights Union

     

    Laurence Socci

    President

    Americans for Conservative Values

     

    Tim Phillips

    President

    Americans for Prosperity

     

    Grover Norquist

    President

    Americans for Tax Reform

     

    Sandra Fabry

    Executive Director

    Center for Fiscal Accountability

     

    Chris Chocola

    President

    Club for Growth

     

    Wendy Wright

    President

    Concerned Women for America

     

    Rick Scott

    Conservatives for Patients Rights

     

    Brian McManus

    Director of Federal Affairs

    Council for Affordable Health Insurance

     

    Thomas A. Schatz

    President

    Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

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