Both the House and the Senate approved H.R.6331, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act, by veto-proof majorities. But despite this overwhelming show of bipartisan support, President Bush vetoed the legislation. Fortunately, while the President and his Republican allies in Congress fought to protect the health insurance industry, Democrats fought to protect seniors – to ensure that physicians are fairly reimbursed, that beneficiaries are able to afford Medicare’s services, and that the long-term stability of the Medicare program is assured.
That is why under Democratic leadership, Congress voted overwhelmingly to override the President’s irresponsible veto of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act, and on July 15, 2008, this legislation became law. This bill will reverse the scheduled 10.6 percent cut in payments to physicians who care for the 44 million American seniors in the Medicare program and the estimated 8.9 million individuals in the military’s TRICARE program, and will save billions of taxpayer dollars by reducing overpayments to some private Medicare plans. The bill will also: