The Subcommittee on Health handles legislation and oversight related to Medicare, which provides health care to almost 60 million Americans over 65 years old as well as to those with disabilities. The subcommittee also oversees the Medicare Trust Fund and the financial health of the system. Additionally, the subcommittee is involved in payment to hospitals, nursing facilities, outpatient departments, hospices, surgery centers, physicians, and other health care providers delivering care to Medicare beneficiaries, as well as patient out-of-pocket costs and benefits coverage. As Medicare is the largest federal support for medical resident training, the subcommittee also plays an important role in financing the training of America’s next physicians.
The subcommittee oversees the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D programs, which are private insurance programs administered by Medicare that provide health care coverage and drug coverage to Medicare beneficiaries. Additional subcommittee responsibilities include program oversight, including addressing improper payments, fraud and abuse, self-referral laws, and program integrity. The subcommittee aims to develop policies that best use the tax payer dollars to transform our health care system to pay for value and not just volume of health care services, including important innovation and delivery reform models like Accountable Care Organizations.
The subcommittee works to improve consumer protections within Medicare, including improving the enrollment process, monitoring access to health services, addressing issues faced by low-income beneficiaries in the Medicare Savings Programs, and examining health and safety conditions of participation for providers that serve patients.
In addition, the subcommittee handles legislation and oversight of the Affordable Care Act, in particular the tax credits that help consumers afford coverage as well as the associated provisions of health tax laws.