Washington, DC - May 18, 2011 - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement after receiving the Iowa Medical Society Presidential Citation Award. The award was presented to Rep. Braley by the Iowa Medical Society "in honor of his tireless work to restore geographic equity to physician Medicarereimbursement":
"Iowa doctors and hospitals provide some of the highest quality, lowest cost care in the country. But instead of rewarding this achievement, our Medicare system actually punished these providers with lower reimbursement rates than providers in other states. This is blatantly unfair, and threatens to discourage providers from giving patients the best possible care. I fought long and hard to fix this inequity during the health care negotiations, and I'm very proud of what we were able to accomplish with the great help of Iowa doctors and hospitals."
Throughout the debate on health care reform, Rep. Braley fought to address long-standing geographic disparities in Medicare reimbursements, and to increase reimbursements for high-quality, low-cost care. Iowa doctors, hospitals, and health care providers have long suffered from an unfair Medicare formula, which reimbursed them at a lower rate thanproviders in other states - all while they were offering some of the highest quality, lowest-cost care in the nation. Thanks to Rep. Braley's efforts, Iowa doctors are now seeing a 10% increase in reimbursement rates and Iowa hospitals are receiving $33 million in additional reimbursements this year and next year.