September 26,2002

Baucus-Grassley Statement on the Beneficiary Access and Medicare Payment Equity package

Improving access to quality health care remains one of our highest priorities. Today, we are announcing a critical piece of legislation that, across the spectrum of care, contains vital payment adjustments and beneficiary enhancements for Medicare services. Taken together, these provisions will improve both the quality of, and access to, health care for millions of Americans.

Our Medicare legislation will go along way to helping patients who depend on critical health care services and institutions – from home health care; to nursing homes; to hospital treatment. These services are especially important to those who live in rural areas, where access to care is often limited due to unfair Medicare payment formulas.

With many Medicare payment provisions set to expire October 1, 2002, and with little time remaining in the legislative session, we call on Congress and the President to act swiftly on this comprehensive bipartisan Medicare legislation and enact it into law.