Neal Opening Statement at Markup of Bipartisan Health, Oversight, Tax, and Social Security Legislation
(As prepared for delivery)
Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this markup on a number of bipartisan bills covering health, oversight, tax and social security policies.
In the health space, we will consider legislation by Mr. Doggett and Mr. Johnson designed to require an action plan and report from the Department of Health and Human Services about single use drug vials. Another bill by Mr. Larson and Mr. Nunes would require CMS to add an ambulatory surgical center (ASC) representative to the Hospital Outpatient Payment Panel, in turn giving ASCs a voice in the changes made to the Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS). Another bill by Mr. Kind and Mr. Kelly directs the HHS Secretary to conduct a study and submit a report on the “Benchmark Cap” in Medicare Advantage organizations.
While these bills are positive and I will support them, I want to remind my colleagues this does not make up for ongoing Republican efforts to sabotage the ACA and Medicaid, take away pre-existing condition protections, premium hikes and increasing drug prices. All these efforts are to pay for their $2.3 trillion tax plan and simply leads to more uncertainty in the market place and anxiety for American individuals and families.
Also under consideration today is one tax and one IRS-related bill.
We will also review two Social Security bills. The first by Mr. Reichert and Ms. DelBene, addresses a problem whereby members of Indian Tribal Councils cannot participate in Social Security. This fixes a gap in the law, and allows Tribal Councils, if they chose to do so, to participate in Social Security and Medicare and earn benefit protection.
The second, by Mr. Bishop and Mr. Larson, would establish a single point of contact at the Social Security Administration for people who have been the victim of identity theft, to help them get their problems resolved more quickly. It is similar to legislation we passed doing the same for the IRS.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.