By Jay Heflin - 06/23/10 09:46 PM EDT
"Congress has failed to tackle this issue in the past and now millions of Medicare beneficiaries across the nation and thousands in Idaho are paying the price for their inaction," Wordelman said in prepared remarks. "It's time for Idaho's congressional delegation to work to break the gridlock on this critical issue and help our state's elderly residents get the access to their doctors they need."
According to the AARP, 75 percent of Idaho's 213,000 Medicare beneficiaries see their physicians under the Medicare program. But an increasing number of doctors in the state are refusing to accept Medicare patients — more than 20 percent, and at 28 percent in urban areas. The number one reason for the refusing to treat these patients is the low reimbursement rates, even before the pay cut.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is currently trying to get sufficient support for a third iteration of the extenders bill, but is having trouble getting the support from Republicans that is needed to pass the bill. Senate Republicans Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, both from Idaho, twice last week opposed moving the bill forward.
Reid's latest plan is to present the new bill to the chamber at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. The Congressional Budget Office has released details of the legislation.