Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act

Floor Speech

Date: Dec. 7, 2021
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of this bipartisan legislation that will continue to guarantee access to healthcare providers as we confront the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nothing could be more important to our seniors than making sure that they have access to doctors during this time.

I heard what my colleague on the Republican side said, but I just want to assure everyone that what we are really talking about here is making sure that our seniors can access a doctor, that there are doctors available to help them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Congress has provided relief to Medicare providers by waiving a 2 percent cut in payments that was created as part of sequestration. This legislation will continue waiving those cuts. It also protects Medicare and other Federal programs by preventing any cuts from occurring as a result of paygo rules.

The legislation provides additional relief to healthcare providers by increasing payments under Medicare's physician fee schedule next year and preventing cuts to Medicare payments for lab and oncology services.

We have to understand that providers have to keep their doors open. Labs have to be open. During these difficult times, when providers are being stretched to the limit, and labs, oncology services, and everything is being stretched to the limit, if Congress does not take action now and pass this bill, then some healthcare providers will face significant reductions in payments, and that has an impact on our seniors and their ability to get services.

This legislation is important for the seniors, and it is important for our constituents. It has bipartisan and bicameral support, and I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting it tonight.