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Brady, Tiberi Statement on Final Changes to Medicare Advantage

April 04, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Health Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) issued the following joint statement after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized changes to the Medicare Advantage (MA) program for 2017:

“The Administration’s final changes to the Medicare Advantage program aren’t helping America’s seniors and retirees. Yet again, CMS failed to address many of the policy recommendations we made on behalf of MA beneficiaries, including our calls to abandon changes to the Employer Group Waiver Plans and changes that will negatively impact low-income seniors. The agency’s dismissal of our concerns — the concerns of our seniors, doctors, and health care providers — will only disrupt the quality, affordable health care choices millions of seniors enjoy today. 

“Medicare Advantage is a critical program serving millions of Americans. As we continue to review the more-than-200-pages of policy changes released this afternoon, we will look for opportunities to mitigate the negative affects of the final rule and promote reforms that will bolster the Medicare Advantage program for our seniors.”

On February 19, 2016, CMS issued an Advanced Notice proposing changes to the Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D programs’ payments and policies for Calendar Year 2017,
giving the public 15 days to respond before closing the comment period. Bipartisan leaders of the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees sent a letter to Acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt on March 4, 2016, expressing concerns about several proposed changes. Last week, Republican leaders explicitly requested that CMS abandon its EGWP proposal before it issued a final rule. CMS has not provided the Ways and Means Committee with responses to either letter. Moving forward, CMS will have to provide the public 30 days to respond to any proposed MA changes before closing the comment period as a result of Chairman Brady’s Securing Fairness in Regulatory Timing Act of 2015.