WASHINGTON Bipartisan leaders of the House Energy and Commerce and House Ways and Means Committees today introduced H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, to permanently replace Medicares Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). The agreement builds upon H.R. 1470, the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act, bipartisan, bicameral legislation to replace the SGR formula with a stable payment system that promotes higher quality care for seniors. The bipartisan committee leaders on Friday released a working framework of these additional proposals, some of which will help to offset the costs of this package. Read the complete bill online here. Read a section by section online here.
“Many of us have worked for a long time to repeal this flawed formula and replace it with a more patient-centered system. Now we have a chance to get it done,” said Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). “This package is the best opportunity to turn the page on years of short-term fixes so that we can finally make the reforms we need to strengthen Medicare for our seniors. This is real patient-centered reformdone in a bipartisan wayand I urge all of my colleagues to support it.”
“This legislation provides a real opportunity to create stability for seniors and doctors by doing away with the flawed SGR system and replacing it with one that rewards quality and innovation,” said Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI). “Resulting from bipartisan negotiations, this package combines the end of SGR once and for all with important extensions of the Childrens Health Insurance Program and other critical health provisions, including funding for community health centers.“
“We can see the light at the end of the SGR tunnelfinally. Our bipartisan product begins the task of strengthening Medicare over the long term,“ said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (RMI). “This responsible legislative package reflects years of bipartisan work, is a good deal for seniors, and a good deal for children too. Its time to put a stop once and for all to the repeated SGR crises and start to put Medicare on a stronger path forward for our seniors.“
“Finally, after a decade of trying, we have a bipartisan bill that will permanently repeal the flawed SGR and move Medicare to a health care system based on quality and efficiency, that is good for seniors and doctors alike,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ). “As with any bipartisan effort, this legislation reflects give and take on both sides. However, we have come to a balanced compromise that will end uncertainty in the system, extend the Childrens Health Insurance Program (CHIP), fund Community Health Centers, and make permanent the Qualifying Individual (QI) program that helps low income seniors pay their Medicare premiums.“
The House is expected to consider this legislation this week.