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U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin supports long-term solution on Medicare payments for doctors, votes against “Patch”

“This bill is a missed opportunity to reduce Medicare costs and enact significant health care reforms to eliminate today the flawed Medicare payment formula.”

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin released the following statement on her vote in the Senate against HR 4302.

Baldwin joined bipartisan opposition to the legislation, which passed the Senate 64-35.

The legislation was also opposed by the American Medical Association and the Wisconsin Medical Society.

“I strongly support protecting seniors’ retirement security by ensuring that doctors who serve Medicare patients receive fair payment for their work.

However, this bill is a missed opportunity to reduce Medicare costs and enact significant health care reforms to eliminate today the flawed Medicare payment formula.

I am also disappointed that the bill penalizes Wisconsin health systems that have made significant investments to upgrade their health technology, and now will be prevented from doing so for another year.

“Congress has made great bipartisan, bicameral progress to enact real and lasting reforms that could reduce Medicare costs and improve the quality of care for today’s seniors. But this deal is another band-aid that kicks the can down the road with a 17th patch, which guarantees that we’ll be back in the same place in one year.

“Wisconsin’s physicians, health systems, and seniors want to continue moving forward toward a health care system that rewards quality of care over quantity of services.

They are right to recognize, as I do, that the time is now for Washington to take action on putting in place real reforms that do just that.

Unfortunately this legislation doesn’t do that and while I oppose it, I will continue my work across party lines on reforms that provide a real and long-term fix to a broken system.”

Among the reforms Baldwin supports is the Quality Data, Quality Healthcare Act, bipartisan legislation she has introduced with Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) Baldwin’s legislation increases the transparency of healthcare costs in Medicare – helping doctors, health systems, private insurers, and research institutions provide more efficient, higher quality healthcare and better patient outcomes.

An online version of this release can be found here.