FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2011
Price Introduces Bill to Empower Medicare Patients
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA) issued the following statement after introducing H.R. 1700, the Medicare Patient Empowerment Act – legislation that would ensure the rights of Medicare beneficiaries and physicians to freely contract for items and services outside of the Medicare system. Currently under Medicare, beneficiaries and physicians (and other providers) are barred from contracting with one another. While gaining the right to independently contract for items and services under this legislation, Medicare beneficiaries would still retain their Medicare benefits.
"All Americans, including Medicare beneficiaries, should have access to quality, affordable care and the ability to make choices and decisions with their physicians that best serve their medical needs," said Congressman Price. "The current Medicare system is broken and unsustainable. Seniors are finding it increasingly difficult to find a physician. That is unacceptable and why – in addition to fundamental reforms of the Medicare system – we need common sense approaches to give our seniors the opportunity to make decisions with their physicians without interference from Washington. In addition to providing flexibility of care, this legislation will also help ensure seniors do not lose access to health care professionals and physicians – many of which are finding it harder to treat Medicare patients as the government continues to cut payments for services and impose burdensome regulations. To have the highest quality and access to care in America, we must embrace these types of patient-centered solutions that will provide much needed flexibility."