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Brady: Congress Must Take Action to Save Medicare

January 26, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) released the following statement in reaction to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) report on federal spending and the 2026 exhaustion date of Medicare’s Hospital Insurance Trust Fund.

“Our entitlement programs are unsustainable. In 2015, for the first time, federal health care spending — which includes Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare — outpaced all other entitlement programs. And it shows no signs of slowing. Spending on major federal health care programs will nearly double over the next ten years from $1.1 trillion in 2016 to $2 trillion 2026.

“Despite all this spending, CBO has once again confirmed what we all know: Medicare as we know it is unsustainable and we need to act now to save it. In ten short years, the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund that seniors rely upon will be exhausted. And if we remain on this same path, America’s seniors are going to find it harder to access care and see their doctors.

“Obamacare didn’t solve the problem. Instead, it raided over $700 billion from Medicare to pay for a new open-ended entitlement and, as predicted, its claims of slowing health care spending are exaggerated. True reforms are needed now to save Medicare for current and future generations.”

Note: Ways and Means members are moving ahead with actions large and small to save Medicare for the long term and ensure our seniors can always access care. This last summer, we introduced H.R. 3298, the Medicare Post-Acute Care Value-Based Purchasing Act of 2015; H.R. 3291, the Medicare Crosswalk Hospital Code Development Act of 2015; H.R. 3292, the Medicare IME Pool Act of 2015 andH.R. 3288, the Strengthening DSH and Medicare Through Subsidy Recapture and Payment Reform Act of 2015. These measures set the stage for Medicare premium support options that give seniors more choices tailored to their health care needs and protect the Medicare guarantee. In the coming year, we will continue our efforts to advance fiscally responsible, patient-centered health care solutions.