Congressman Adam Smith made the following statement regarding his vote against the Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act of 2009:

Our system of paying doctors who treat Medicare patients is deeply flawed and must be fixed. Any fix must meet two overarching criteria. First and foremost, it must be paid for without adding to our already overwhelming debt. Second, it must address the problems of regional disparity that are so harmful to Washington state. It is neither fair nor fiscally sustainable that Medicare now pays some doctors more for the exact same services in certain parts of the country than it does in others. For decades Washington State doctors have been paid substantially less for the same services than doctors in other regions of the Country and this must change.

I voted against this bill today because it failed on both these issues. It was not paid for - and would add over $200 Billion to our debt - and it did not address the problem of regional disparity.