Rep. Payne, Jr. Requests Support for Specialty Providers during Coronavirus Crisis

May 16, 2020
Press Release

Media Contact:  Patrick Wright   --  Patrick.Wright@mail.house.gov

Washington, D.C. — Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. co-wrote a letter with Rep. Gus Bilirakis (D-Fl) to the leadership of the House of Representatives on May 11 to support specialty providers of “do-not-postpone” surgeries in the next coronavirus legislation. 

In the letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Payne, Jr. wrote that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule on the 2021 Physician Fee Schedule that would institute Medicare payment cuts to specialty physicians supporting patients with Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) in 2021.  These impacted specialties include vascular surgery, cardiac surgery, and interventional radiology, which are slated for cuts ranging from five percent to eight percent.  Rep. Payne, Jr. and Rep. Bilirakis are co-chairs of the Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Caucus

“Cuts to these PAD specialties during a pandemic would add further strain to hospitals and the healthcare system overall,” wrote Rep. Payne, Jr.  “In addition, these cuts would jeopardize minority populations which have higher percentages of both COVID-19 and PAD patients and are much more likely to experience lower limb amputations as a result of limiting access to limb threatening vascular surgery.”

Rep. Payne, Jr. has been working diligently to get life-saving aid to his constituents and all Americans during this difficult time.  He introduced a bill to get hazard pay for the nation’s federal frontline workers, such as TSA agents, daycare workers, and veteran health care workers.  He co-wrote a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve a ventilator design that could help supply local hospitals in New Jersey and the rest of the country that the FDA approved a week later.  As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response & Recovery of the House Committee on Homeland Security, he has been in constant contact with FEMA officials to support them in their efforts to aid and protect the American people.       

In addition, he has voted to approve four coronavirus-related aid bills in the House to help the nation survive this public health crisis.  The most recent law, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 266), provided $484 billion to enhance the health and economic security of all Americans, including $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses, $75 billion to health care facilities for protective equipment and care, and $25 billion to enhance the country’s coronavirus testing capability.   

The first law, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 6074), provided $8.3 billion to fund medical efforts.  The second one, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), included free coronavirus testing for Americans and mandatory paid sick leave for workers.  The third one, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748) authorized more than $2 trillion to Americans in coronavirus aid, including direct payments to low and middle-income workers, increased unemployment benefits, $349 billion to small businesses through grants and interest-free loans, $150 billion to state and local governments to help them handle coronavirus-related expenses, and $200 billion to support America’s hospitals and health care workers.

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