Print this Page Hearing Advisory
Chairman Herger Announces Hearing on Medicare Premium Support Proposals
Friday, April 27, 2012
House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Wally Herger (R-CA) today announced that the Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing to examine proposals to reform Medicare through a premium support model. The hearing will take place on Friday, April 27, 2012, in 1100 Longworth House Office Building, beginning at 9:00 A.M.
The Medicare program was enacted on June 30, 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Social Security Amendments Act (P.L. 89-97). At the time of its creation, Medicare’s Fee For Service (FFS) design was modeled after the Blue Cross Blue Shield plans that were prevalent throughout the nation. However, despite repeated and significant advances in private insurance over the last 45 years, Medicare’s FFS delivery design has largely remained unchanged.
Medicare’s FFS delivery system and its antiquated and siloed benefit design has also led to inefficiencies and financial challenges throughout Medicare’s history. On numerous occasions, Congress has been forced to act to slow the growth of Medicare in order to extend the program’s solvency. As a result, today’s Medicare program is unsustainable. According to the 2011 Medicare Trustees report, Medicare’s Hospital Insurance Trust Fund is expected to go bankrupt by 2024, five years earlier than the trustees projected in 2010.
In announcing the hearing, Chairman Herger stated, “The American public recognizes that today’s Medicare program faces significant financial challenges. Unless Congress acts, the Medicare program that seniors and people with disabilities rely on will go bankrupt in just a few short years. In order to protect the Medicare program for future beneficiaries, Congress must look beyond simply slashing Medicare provider reimbursements, which will eventually result in beneficiaries losing access to care. The premium support model holds promise to place Medicare on sound financial footing while transforming and modernizing the program to provide greater choice for beneficiaries. Such proposals have enjoyed bipartisan support for decades, and it is time to move beyond partisan arguments and focus on the bipartisan solutions that will strengthen and improve Medicare for future generations of Americans.”
The hearing will review the bipartisan support for implementing a premium support system in order to modernize the Medicare benefit while also improving the program’s long-term financial solvency.
Please Note: Any person(s) and/or organization(s) wishing to submit for the hearing record must follow the appropriate link on the hearing page of the Committee website and complete the informational forms. From the Committee homepage, http://waysandmeans.house.gov, select “Hearings.” Select the hearing for which you would like to submit, and click on the link entitled, “Click here to provide a submission for the record.” Once you have followed the online instructions, submit all requested information. ATTACH your submission as a Word document, in compliance with the formatting requirements listed below, by the close of business on Friday, May 11, 2012. Finally, please note that due to the change in House mail policy, the U.S. Capitol Police will refuse sealed-package deliveries to all House Office Buildings. For questions, or if you encounter technical problems, please call (202) 225-1721 or (202) 225-3625.
The Committee relies on electronic submissions for printing the official hearing record. As always, submissions will be included in the record according to the discretion of the Committee. The Committee will not alter the content of your submission, but we reserve the right to format it according to our guidelines. Any submission provided to the Committee by a witness, any supplementary materials submitted for the printed record, and any written comments in response to a request for written comments must conform to the guidelines listed below. Any submission or supplementary item not in compliance with these guidelines will not be printed, but will be maintained in the Committee files for review and use by the Committee.
1. All submissions and supplementary materials must be provided in Word format and MUST NOT exceed a total of 10 pages, including attachments. Witnesses and submitters are advised that the Committee relies on electronic submissions for printing the official hearing record.
2. Copies of whole documents submitted as exhibit material will not be accepted for printing. Instead, exhibit material should be referenced and quoted or paraphrased. All exhibit material not meeting these specifications will be maintained in the Committee files for review and use by the Committee.
3. All submissions must include a list of all clients, persons and/or organizations on whose behalf the witness appears. A supplemental sheet must accompany each submission listing the name, company, address, telephone, and fax numbers of each witness.
The Committee seeks to make its facilities accessible to persons with disabilities. If you are in need of special accommodations, please call 202-225-1721 or 202-226-3411 TTD/TTY in advance of the event (four business days notice is requested). Questions with regard to special accommodation needs in general (including availability of Committee materials in alternative formats) may be directed to the Committee as noted above.
Note: All Committee advisories and news releases are available on the World Wide Web at http://www.waysandmeans.house.gov/.