Tester praises strong bipartisan passage of Medicare reimbursement fix

(U.S. Senate) – Senator Jon Tester tonight released the following statement after the Senate passed a bill to prevent a 21-percent cut in the reimbursement rate paid to doctors who treat Medicare patients:

“Passing this bill represents the kind of bipartisan cooperation that occurs far too rarely in Congress. This bill will help provide basic care to seniors and children while strengthening rural health care. By making these smart investments we can improve the health of Montana.”

The bill that passed the Senate in a vote of 92 – 8 includes a two-year extension of the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP), funding for Community Health Centers (CHCs) through 2017, and two years’ worth of funding for the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program.

The SRS extension will provide payments to support local schools and roads in more than 30 Montana counties. Tester recently introduced a bill to fund SRS for three years.

Tester also sponsored a bill to extend CHIP through 2019, which provides more than three quarters of the funding for Healthy Montana Kids.

He also recently urged his colleagues to fund Montana’s 16 Community Health Centers in order to improve basic health care in Montana.

The bill already passed the U.S. House and will now go to the President’s desk where it will be signed into law.