House Gop Doctors Caucusby Former Representative Phil Gingrey
Posted on 2013-03-05
GINGREY of Georgia. Madam Speaker, I thank the majority leader
for yielding this time to discuss an extremely important issue facing
the patients in this great country of ours that are going to have a
very difficult time in finding a physician.
Madam Speaker, in March of 2010, when the so-called Affordable Care Act, or PPACA, was passed into law, the purpose, of course, was to increase access to physicians for all patients across this country and also to bring down the cost of health care. Well, we're 2 years into this bill--which will become fully effective in January 2014--and what are we seeing? Madam Speaker, the CBO reported just recently that some 7 million people have actually lost their health insurance, the health insurance provided by their employer. For those who do still have health insurance--particularly those who get it maybe not from their employer but from the individual market, a small group policy--the cost has actually increased some $2,500 a year instead of coming down, as anticipated and predicted and promised, in fact, by President Obama, but that just absolutely is not happening.
So what we're going to be talking about, Madam Speaker, is, again, what needs to be done to correct this situation. Because the thing that was never really discussed to my satisfaction when this bill was crafted was, how are you going to get the best and the brightest young men and women in this country to continue to go into the field of medicine, to become the doctors--particularly in primary care, internal medicine, and the pediatricians--to provide that care when the reimbursement system under Medicare, called the sustainable growth rate, year after year after year for the last 6 or 8 years we have actually cut the income to the providers, to the point, Madam Speaker, where they can't provide this care, they can't even break even? So this is what we're going to be talking about, this flawed sustainable growth system. It has certainly contributed to the physician shortage crisis that we see today.
Now, I have a number of slides that I want to present to my colleagues, and we'll go with some specifics on that. But I'm very pleased to be joined today in this House with the cochair of the House GOP Doctors Caucus, my good friend and fellow physician Member from Tennessee, Dr. Phil Roe, and I yield to Dr. Roe at this point.