Senate Passes Bipartisan Bill to Extend County Payments and Ensure Medicare Access

WASHINGTON – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after the Senate passed bipartisan legislation to help ensure that seniors on Medicare have access to their doctors. It also includes an extension of county payments for cash-strapped Oregon timber counties:

“The badly-needed extension of county payments is a lifeline for our rural communities. We need a long-term solution that will create more jobs in the woods and get more logs to the mills while protecting our environment – but we also need a bridge to get us there. This extension will make a crucial difference for schools, roads and public safety in Oregon.

“I’m also pleased that we were able to come together to find a bipartisan solution on Medicare and ensure that our seniors will have access to their doctors. This legislation isn’t perfect, but on the whole it is a big step forward that provides much-needed certainty. It also includes extensions of the Children’s Health Insurance Program and community health center funding – programs that make a huge difference in communities across Oregon.

“It’s good news for Oregon that this bill is on its way to the President’s desk to be signed into law.”