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ACP applauds Senate to vote to pass H.R. 6331 and avert physician payment cut
Date:7/10/2008

Washington -- The Senate today gave overwhelming, bipartisan approval to legislation to avert cuts in Medicare physician payment updates--the best outcome possible given the difficult circumstances facing us, Jeffrey P. Harris, MD, FACP, president of the American College of Physicians (ACP) said today. We implore President Bush to immediately sign this bill into law. The votes in both the Senate and House in favor of H.R. 6331 are more than enough to override a presidential veto, but we hope that it doesnt come to that. Now is the time for the President to join with the large bipartisan congressional majorities who have listened to concerned patients and doctors and made the right decision to support H.R. 6331.

Dr. Harris specifically said that ACP, wants to acknowledge the difficult and courageous votes by the nine senators who reconsidered their earlier opposition to the bill and, this time, voted yes for patient access to care. We also want to express our great appreciation to senators, like Senator Max Baucus, who stood with our patients and supported this bill from the beginning.

Our 126,000-member organization is pleased that this long-awaited action has finally taken place, Dr. Harris noted. By garnering 69 votes this afternoon compared to only 30 against, the vote is strong enough to overcome a possible presidential veto. The large bipartisan votes by the Senate and the House for H.R. 6331 should clear the way for the bill to become law, with or without the Presidents signature. It will continue current payment rates through the end of the year, ensures a 1.1 percent update in 2009 instead of another scheduled cut, makes improvements in payments for primary care services, and provides better coverage of preventive and mental health services. The measure, which was passed by the House of Representatives with a huge bipartisan majority last month, was championed by the ACP.

Dr. Harris pointed out that t
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Contact: David Kinsman
dkinsman@acponline.org
202-261-4554
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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