Today House Democrats passed yet another bill that adds hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit. In an awkward attempt to fix the formula that determines doctor’s reimbursement rates, Democrats have buried us deeper in debt only to replace one flawed formula with another.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Democrats’ “doc fix” bill, H.R. 3961, will increase the deficit by $210 billion. Economists report that the bill will add an additional $1.9 trillion to Medicare’s unfunded liabilities over the next 75 years. Medicare’s current unfunded liabilities already stand at a staggering $37.8 trillion according to this year’s trustees’ report.
The United States is facing an urgent financial crisis that threatens our fiscal and economic stability. Our government is currently borrowing about 50 cents for every dollar we spend. Medicare is already paying out more in benefits than it collects in taxes and Social Security is expected to do the same in less than five years.
I strongly support a permanent fix to the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). Today I voted for the Republican alternative that would provide physicians with a 2% payment rate increase over the next four years without adding to our growing deficit. Using savings generated from a combination of medical liability reform, streamlining and simplifying administrative policies for health insurance plans, and existing resources from the “Medicare Improvement Fund” we can ensure that doctors are properly reimbursed without drowning our country in debt.