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Energy, Commerce, and Ways and Means Committee Members Urge Administration to #KeepThePromise to Seniors

March 19, 2015

WASHINGTON — Members of the House Energy and Commerce and House Ways and Means Health Subcommittees today sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Acting Administrator urging the administration to reverse course on its proposed changes to the popular and successful Medicare Advantage (MA) program. This letter echoes similar concerns outlined by bicameral Republican committee leaders in a letter sent to President Obama last month.

The members write, “The cumulative effects of the administration’s policies relating to the MA program have resulted in a roughly 10 percent cut to the program over the past several years. A recent report from Oliver Wyman suggests that the cuts and policies from the Call Letters between 2014 and 2015 cost beneficiaries, on average, an additional $60 to $140 per month. Additionally, according to CMS data, beneficiaries had their choices of MA plans reduced during this period.”

The members are urging the administration to reverse course on proposed policy changes that would only exacerbate these issues. They write, “We worry that more and more seniors will be unable to choose a MA plan, while millions more could face reduced benefits and higher costs. We are particularly concerned with the agency’s regulatory policies with respect to risk adjustment, STARS measures, and coding adjustments.”

The letter was signed by: Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), Energy and Commerce full committee Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Energy and Commerce full committee Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX), Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), Rep. Charles Boustany, Jr., M.D. (R-LA), Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Rep. Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN), Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC), Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Rep. Greg Harper (R-MS), Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), Rep. Billy Long (R-MO), Rep. David McKinley (R-WV), Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD), Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX), Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Rep. David Reichert (R-WA), Rep. James Renacci (R-OH), Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL), Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE), Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH), Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), and Rep. Todd Young (R-IN).

Read the complete letter online here.