Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) today delivered the following opening statement at a Health Subcommittee hearing entitled “Preserving and Strengthening Medicare.”
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Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Good afternoon. It is my pleasure to welcome Mr. Miller back to the Health Subcommittee to help us continue our discussion on the Medicare program, payment systems, and extenders.
“It is time we take the next steps in improving the Medicare program. As the Committee continues to look for ways to reform Medicare, the Commission’s insights and analysis will be very valuable. Today is a great opportunity for us to hear advice from a nonpartisan Congressional support agency in order to better understand policies that will improve the program and ensure that we are making good use of taxpayer dollars.
“This year’s March report brings us new information and data that should help strengthen our discussion in this area.
“In his testimony, Mr. Miller will highlight numerous inefficiencies in the post-acute care space. One statistic that I personally found staggering is that nearly $30 billion dollars in the current post-acute care baseline is being used inefficiently.
“Mr. Miller will also highlight the expiring Medicare extenders. MedPAC has commented on these programs over the years and we will use today’s hearing to give everyone a refresher. Extending these programs has a cost and every time we spend money, we are making a decision not to fund another priority.
“Clearly, there are many areas that are in need of reform within the Medicare program. MedPAC has proposed innovative solutions, and I look forward to hearing more.
“Meeting with Medicare providers around my district and state, a resounding concern that I have heard is that overbearing regulations are increasingly burdening providers and seem to be driving out and discouraging small providers. I’m worried about the direction we’re heading. I am hopeful that my colleagues on Ways and Means Committee and in Congress can work with the new Administration to spur innovation and reduce regulatory burdens across the Medicare program.”