WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) Tuesday evening voted for H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, which passed the Senate by a vote of 92 to 8.
“Congress has made an important step towards entitlement reform by passing substantive changes to Medicare that strengthen the program while making it more solvent, all without imposing new taxes on Americans,” Inhofe said. “Congress has addressed the ‘doc fix’ issue with 17 short-term measures, and it is time to put a permanent solution into place. Oklahomans have invested into Medicare and more than 500,000 rely on the program, yet according to the Oklahoma Medical Association, our state ranks one of the poorest in the nation in the number of physicians per capita. This legislation provides much-needed certainty for Oklahoma doctors when it comes to reimbursements, and in turn should help to spur more access to care for Medicare recipients in the state.”
H.R. 2 would repeal Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate Formula, increase means testing of Medicare benefits for high income seniors and extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program for two years.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that H.R. 2 will decrease federal deficits by roughly $1 billion over the next decade.
During the Senate amendment procession, Inhofe voted for Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-Utah) amendment to strike the pay-go provision of H.R. 2, which would require Congress to find money to offset the bill’s cost before the end of the year. Inhofe also supported Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-Texas) amendment that would provide a larger offset by repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate requirement.
Congress has enacted 17 short-term “doc fixes” since 2002. Without a fix, doctors would experience a 21 percent cut in Medicare fees.
H.R. 2 first passed the U.S. House of Representatives on March 26 by a vote of 392 to 27.