Congressman Crowley Opposes Yet Another Attempt by House Republicans to Play Political Games with Seniors’ Access to Health Care

March 14, 2014
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, released the statement below following his vote against House Republicans’ H.R. 4015, a bill that turns the bipartisan effort to permanently reform doctors’ payments under Medicare into the 51st attempt to repeal or dismantle the Affordable Care Act:

“I would have liked to have voted for the bill that came before the House of Representatives today, so that we could permanently reform doctors’ payments under Medicare and improve the quality of care provided to our seniors.

“I’ve been a longtime supporter of a permanent repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), and have been proud to vote for permanent repeals in the past. And despite my disappointment with short-term fixes that only add to the cost of fixing the problem for good, I’ve voted for the vast majority of them – when they’ve been paired with a fair, reasonable offset, and not accompanied by partisan ploys or unsound policies.

“It’s almost a cliché to call this offset a ‘poison pill,’ but the truth is, when House Republicans takes a bipartisan, bicameral bill that has been negotiated in the best of faith, and adds to it a partisan offset that they know only undermines the promise of affordable health insurance in this country, there’s not much else to say.

“What House Republicans are doing with this action is exploiting doctors and their real need for fair and stable payments, just for political games. Doctors deserve a real reform of the payment system, not having this important issue held hostage to the demands of partisan extremists.

“I hope that now the majority has gotten this gambit out of their system, we can move past it and make real progress in finding agreement on how to responsibly pay for this vital reform to doctors’ Medicare payments.”

Congressman Crowley is the eight-term representative from the 14th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives.