Washington, D.C. – Today, the House unanimously passed four bipartisan health bills sponsored by House Ways and Means Committee Members.
Upon passage of this legislation, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) released the following statement:
“This bipartisan legislation is a continuation of the hard work our Committee has done this Congress to improve the Medicare program to ensure our seniors are getting access to more options and services. These commonsense measures provide certainty and flexibility while strengthening the integrity of Medicare. I want to thank all of our Members for their tireless work on behalf of America’s seniors, and I encourage the Senate to take action on these measures soon.”
The following bills were passed by the House today:
1. H.R. 6662, the Empowering Seniors’ Enrollment Decision Act of 2018, sponsored by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI).
This legislation helps seniors by codifying the Special Enrollment Period offered to Medicare Cost Plan enrollees in regulation. Doing so ensures these seniors will have an adequate amount of time to make a decision on Medicare coverage that is best for them. Additionally, the legislation clarifies that Medicare Cost Plans have the authority to deem their existing enrollees into a new Medicare Advantage Plan in future plan years. This will minimize disruption for our seniors impacted by the mandatory Cost Plan transition.
2. H.R. 6690, the Fighting Fraud to Protect Care for Seniors Act of 2018, sponsored by Health Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).
To crack down on waste, fraud, and abuse, this bill establishes a three-year pilot program to test the use of smart card technology to strengthen the integrity of the Medicare program.
3. H.R. 6561, the Comprehensive Care for Seniors Act of 2018, sponsored by Ways and Means Committee Members Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), and Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA); Energy and Commerce Committee Members Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI); as well as Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ).
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published regulations in August 2016 proposing changes to the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). H.R. 6561 directs the Secretary of HHS to finalize their proposed PACE regulations while providing flexibility to make updates or changes as needed.
4. H.R. 3635, the Local Coverage Determination Clarification Act of 2018, sponsored by Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI).
This legislation would establish transparency, certainty, and consistency for Medicare beneficiaries and providers by improving the process through which Medicare Administrative Contractors (MAC) make local coverage determinations (LCDs), such as requiring MACs to publicly post proposed LCDs online.