President Obama Signs SMART Act

By Sam Baker – 01/10/13 05:38 PM ET

Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) took a victory lap Thursday as President Obama signed a bipartisan Medicare bill.

The legislation changes the way Medicare collects money from people whose negligence caused a patient to incur medical bills. Murphy said the new law will streamline an outdated process, making it easier to close cases and bring money into the Medicare program.

Murphy said the legislation — the Strengthening Medicare And Repaying Taxpayers (SMART) Act — stemmed from a constituent who was in a car accident and had to wait years for a settlement on medical bills covered by Medicare.

“With the SMART Act now signed into law, Lorraine and thousands of other senior citizens will no longer needlessly suffer due to bureaucratic red tape,” Murphy said in a statement.

The bill’s lead Democratic sponsor, Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), also heralded the bill’s enactment Thursday.

“The last thing Wisconsin seniors need is confusion or inefficiency surrounding their Medicare coverage,” Kind said in a statement.

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