Washington, D.C. – House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) released the following statement after the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services issued a report outlining policies to increase choice and competition in health care:
“I am encouraged by this report from President Trump and his Administration laying out bold, common-sense reforms for our nation’s health care system.
“Patients deserve choice when it comes to their health care. We need to make sure care is accessible and convenient with minimal paperwork, and most importantly, affordable. Republicans on our Committee have long championed policies to put folks back in the driver’s seat, and this report shows that the Administration is committed to ensuring patients – not Washington – remain at the core of this mission.
“As we review this report in the coming weeks, we hope House Democrats join us to find areas of common ground where we can take action to put the American people back in control of their health care choices.”
Background: Included in the Administration’s health care report are various initiatives long-advocated for by Ways and Means Republican Members. Among them include, but are not limited to:
- Allowing all health care providers to practice to the top of their license, utilizing their full skill set. Included in H.R. 1284, the Medicare Patient Access to Hospice Act of 2017, sponsored by Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS). H.R. 1284 passed as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018;
- Eliminating requirements for certain physician supervision requirements that are not justified by health and safety concerns. Included in H.R. 741, sponsored by Rep. Jenkins, the Rural Hospital Regulatory Relief Act of 2017;
- Modifying geographic location and originating site requirements in fee-for-service Medicare that restrict availability of telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries. Included in H.R. 2556, sponsored by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), the CONNECT for Health Act of 2017;
- Permitting licensed professionals to provide telehealth service to out-of-state patients. Included in H.R. 3081, sponsored by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the TELE-MED Act, during the 114th Congress;
- Repealing ACA restrictions on physician-owned hospitals. Included in H.R. 1156, sponsored by Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX), the Patient Access to Higher Quality Health Care Act of 2017;
- Establishing site neutral payment policies based on the anticipated clinical needs and risk factors of the patient, rather than the site of service. Included in H.R 1838, sponsored by Rep. Nunes, the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality and Access Act of 2017;
- Expanding Health Savings Accounts:
- In July, the House passed H.R. 6311 and H.R. 6199. These bills included many policies to enhance and expand health savings accounts. Specifically, H.R. 6311 included Rep. Erik Paulsen’s (R-MN) H.R. 6306 and H.R. 6309 which increases the contribution limit for HSAs and allows working seniors to contribute to HSAs, respectively. In addition, the House-passed H.R. 6199 included Rep. Paulsen’s H.R. 6317 which allows participants in a direct primary care arrangement to use HSAs.
- H.R. 6314, cosponsored by Health Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D., and included in the House-passed H.R. 6311, allows additional health plans to qualify for an HSA—giving more people the opportunity to save for their future health care costs; and
- Finally, through Chairman Roskam’s Medicare Red Tape Project, the Committee has examined ways to ease burdens on health care providers, giving them more time for patients.