Bush Vetoes Medicare Bill

Posted July 15, 2008 at 12:47pm

President Bush vetoed the Medicare bill Tuesday, asserting in a message to Congress that the legislation is “fiscally irresponsible” and would result in “a steep and unrealistic payment cut for physicians.”

The House plans to take up the veto override this afternoon, and the Senate may do the same because presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is in town and could provide a critical vote.

Bush, who did not mention the veto during a morning press conference, said the legislation would take private health care options from seniors, undermine the Medicare prescription drug program and “perpetuate wasteful overpayments” to medical equipment suppliers.

“I urge the Congress to send me a bill that reduces the growth in Medicare spending, increases competition and efficiency, implements principles of value-driven health care, and appropriately offsets increases in physician spending,” he wrote.