"Along with providing health care to 11 million children, including five million who currently lack health insurance, it eliminates pending physician cuts in 2008 and 2009 and enacts a positive .5 percent increase in both years, providing for stability in reimbursement and ensuring that beneficiaries can continue to see the doctor of their choice. Additionally, the legislation expands preventive benefits including mental health services and physical, occupational and speech therapies, and reduces costs for seniors, people with disabilities and low incomes.
"Some of the most encouraging provision of this legislation relate to health disparities. The legislation provides both incentives and instructions to our national health care providers on addressing the critical and debilitating phenomenon of health care disparities in the minority community. For the first time we identify, codify and target health care disparities with a goal toward eradicating these problems. Additionally, the bill proposes significant changes to the treatment of patients in End Stage Renal Disease and I have proposed a study on its impact on the African American community. Through this study we will learn how best to provide this most critical service to some of the nation's most vulnerable patients.
"I am pleased that we were able to secure a Medicare waiver for the Ireland Cancer Center of University Hospital Health Systems that will allow them to provide immediate care to Medicare patients upon operation.
"While I do have some concerns regarding provisions regarding wheel-chair access, oxygen and imaging services, I am confident that as we move toward enhancing our healthcare systems that these issues will be adequately addressed."
Speech from http://tubbsjones.house.gov/?sectionid=24§iontree=23,24&itemid=231, August 28, 2007.