Senate Prevents Endangerment Of Care For Medicare Recipients; Menendez Helps Passage Of Bill

Senate Prevents Endangerment Of Care For Medicare Recipients; Menendez Helps Passage Of Bill

Doctors would have faced cut in reimbursements and likely would have cut back services as a result; military TRICARE recipients also would have been affected

Washington - This afternoon, the U.S. Senate voted to avoid a potential cut in care for Medicare recipients. U.S. Senator Robert Menendez voted in favor of legislation that will stave off a 10 percent cut in reimbursements to physicians who care for Medicare recipients. That cut was likely to cause many physicians to offer fewer services to Medicare recipients or to cease participating in Medicare altogether. It also would have affected care for veterans, active-duty military and their families in the TRICARE program, of which there are 87,343 in New Jersey. The legislation will help people in Medicare and TRICARE by maintaining their access to doctors, implementing electronic prescribing and bolstering Medicare's low-income programs.

Senator Menendez released the following statement:

"These are tough economic times. Millions of Americans rely on Medicare to stay healthy, and it shouldn't be harder for them to get care. Seniors who live on a fixed-income are already facing higher food prices and higher gas prices. We have men and women fighting in Iraq - not to mention veterans - relying on TRICARE for the wellness of their families. To take away health care options from them would be disastrous.

"Senator Kennedy has long been a champion of Medicare, and his return to the Senate provided the force we needed to get over the top - his dedication to our nation's seniors could not be any clearer, and I'm certainly glad to see him back."

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