July 15,2008

Congress Enacts Baucus Medicare Bill Into Law As Senate Overrides Presidential Veto Tonight

Finance Chairman lead author of bill that put seniors first, won bipartisan support

Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today won passage of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008. The new law, based on a bill Baucus authored in the Senate, will make Medicare work better for the 44.1 million seniors enrolled, will reverse a 10.6 percent cut in the program’s payments to health providers for seniors and military families in the TRICARE program, and will save billions of dollars for taxpayers by reducing overpayments to some private Medicare plans.

The House and Senate passed the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act by overwhelming majorities. President Bush vetoed the bill today, requiring both chambers of Congress to vote on whether to override the veto and make the bill law.

“Millions of Americans can go to sleep tonight knowing that they will be able to get the health care they need, because this Congress stood up, stood together, and stood by seniors and military families,” Baucus said. “From the doctor’s office to the drugstore, this new law will make Medicare work better for every beneficiary. I’m particularly proud that I was able to win $4 billion in health care help for low-income seniors and for folks in rural states like Montana. The enactment of this new Medicare law shows that Congress can get good things done for the American people, when we’re willing to work together.”

Information on key provisions of the bill can be found on the Finance Committee website. An overview of provisions in brief can be found in the printer-friendly version of this release.