The agreement reached in Congress yesterday is an important step that will prevent a tax hike on 160 million hardworking Americans who are still recovering from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, and continue essential support for millions of unemployed Americans struggling to find jobs. The agreement is also important because it prevents doctors who treat Medicare patients from taking a nearly 30 percent pay cut. That kind of cut would harm physicians and jeopardize seniors’ access to the doctor they know and trust.
Some have argued that this legislation hurts the Affordable Care Act. This claim is false. Most of the policies in this bill that help prevent doctors from taking a pay cut are in the President’s budget. Others were the product of a tough negotiation. And none harm the implementation of health insurance premium tax credits as did the House Republican plan from December.
Let’s look more closely at what is actually in the agreement:
All in all, this agreement ensures that physicians receive reliable payments for the care they provide and that Medicare beneficiaries have access to care – and does so in a fiscally responsible way. We’ll continue to implement the Affordable Care Act, crack down on the worst insurance company abuses and prepare for 2014 when Americans will have access to the same kinds of health care choices as members of Congress. And, the agreement we reached prevents a tax increase from hitting millions of working Americans and prevents the end of support for millions looking for a job. Together, these provisions also help our economic recovery, and we hope they are just the first step in the many we will take to boost job creation and construct an economy built to last.