Thursday, March 26, 2015

Hill Supports Historic Structural Entitlement Reform to Fix Medicare

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 392-37. H.R. 2 would be the first major structural entitlement reform in nearly two decades. If signed into law, the bill would replace the current Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula with a payment system that is more sustainable and would end the so-called annual “doc-fix,” which has cost the American taxpayers almost $170 billion over the last 12 years.

Following passage of H.R. 2, Congressman French Hill (AR-2) released the below statement:

“By repealing and replacing the Sustainable Growth Rate, for the first time in a long time, we are fixing Medicare in a bipartisan way so that it’s finally fair to patients, physicians, and the taxpayer. I thank Leadership on both sides of the aisle for making this historic entitlement reform a reality, and I ask the Senate to swiftly move this commonsense bill so we can make Medicare sustainable for generations to come.”
What the bill does:
·         Establishes the first real, structural entitlement reform in nearly two decades—offsetting all new spending with permanent structural reforms and other Medicare spending reductions without tax increases.
·         Stops the stream of costly short-term SGR patches—Congress has spent nearly $170 billion on 17 short-term SGR patches since 2003.
·         Fights fraud, waste and abuse.
·         Extends Children’s Health Insurance Program and traditional Medicare extenders, including the therapy cap exceptions process and Medicare-Dependent Hospital (MDH) Program, for two years to give Congress time to work to institute better reforms under a new President.

What CBO and other experts are saying about the cost:
·         According to CBO, “enacting the legislation would cost $0.9 billion less over the 2015–2025 period than freezing Medicare’s payment rates for physicians’ services…. Compared with the costs of freezing Medicare’s payment rates for physicians’ services, the budgetary effects of H.R. 2 could represent net savings or net costs in the second decade after enactment, but the center of the distribution of possible outcomes is small net savings.”

H.R. 2 is supported by leading conservative groups and over 750 physicians groups, including:
·         American Medical Association
·         American Osteopathic Association
·         American Hospital Association
·         American Health Care Association
·         American College of Surgeons
·         American Academy of Family Physicians
·         U.S. Chamber of Commerce
·         Americans for Tax Reform
·         American Action Forum

·         National Taxpayers Union

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