Thursday, March 26, 2015

Fwd: qotd: Boehner: H.R.2 begins the process of entitlement reform

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From: Don McCanne <don@mccanne.org>
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Subject: qotd: Boehner: H.R.2 begins the process of entitlement reform
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C-SPAN
United States House of Representatives
March 26, 2015
Debate on H.R.2, "Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015"

Speaker of the House John Boehner:

We expect to end the so-called doc fix once and for all. Many of you
know we've patched this problem seventeen times over the last eleven
years, and I decided about a year ago that I had had enough of it. In
its place we'll deliver for the American people the first real
entitlement reform…

Today it's about a problem much bigger than any doc fix or any deadline.
It's about beginning the process of solving our spending problem, and
it's about strengthening and saving Medicare which is at the heart of
that problem. Normally we'd be here to admit that we're just going to
kick the can down the road one more time. But today, because of what
we're doing here, we're going to save money 20, 30, 40 years down the road…

We can't become complacent. We've got more serious entitlement reform
that's needed. It shouldn't take another two decades to do it, and
frankly I don't think we've got that much time. But I'm here today to
urge all of our members to begin that process, and the process begins by
voting yes on H.R.2 today.

http://www.c-span.org/video/?324978-1/us-house-medicare-payments-doctors&live

****


Comment by Don McCanne

H.R.2 passed in the House today by a vote of 392 to 37. It goes to the
Senate where it will be voted on tomorrow. But is this really about the
"doc fix" - eliminating SGR? Speaker of the House John Boehner clarifies
that for us. It's about entitlement reform and H.R.2 begins that process.

Entitlement reform…

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Fwd: qotd: H.R.2 has replaced H.R.1470

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H.R.2, "Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015" replaces
H.R.1470, "SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of
2015"

Yesterday, March 24, H.R.2 was introduced in the House of
Representatives. H.R. 1470, the subject of recent Quote of the Day
messages, has been included in H.R. 2 as Title I. H.R.2 is the
legislation that the House will pass tomorrow.

The bill is now 263 pages long. It contains the following Titles:

TITLE I--SGR REPEAL AND MEDICARE PROVIDER PAYMENT MODERNIZATION
SGR repeal and replacement with MIPS and APMs

TITLE II--MEDICARE AND OTHER HEALTH EXTENDERS
Twenty-one Medicare and other health extenders, including extension
of funding for community health centers and the National Health Service
Corps

TITLE III--CHIP
Two year extension of CHIP

TITLE IV--OFFSETS
Means-tested Medicare premiums and elimination of deductible coverage
in Medigap plans

TITLE V--MISCELLANEOUS
Twenty-five miscellaneous provisions

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2/text


THIS EXPANSION OF THE ACT DOES NOT CHANGE ANY OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS
SENT OUT EARLIER TODAY:

1. REPEAL SGR

2. EXTEND CHIP FINANCING FOR FOUR MORE YEARS

3. EXTEND FUNDING FOR COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS

4. REJECT UNPROVEN AND DETRIMENTAL POLICIES CONTAINED IN THE ACT

In addition, beneficial measures added to H.R.2 should be enacted, but
they need to be sorted out from inappropriate or deleterious policies
that have been added to this act.

At this time Congress should simply repeal SGR, fund CHIP, fund
community health centers and the National Health Service Corps, and
refer all other provisions for further study by the appropriate committees.

Fwd: qotd: Repeal SGR, but don't privatize Medicare

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From: Don McCanne <don@mccanne.org>
To: Quote-of-the-Day <quote-of-the-day@mccanne.org>
X-Mailman-Approved-At: Wed, 25 Mar 2015 10:31:15 -0400
Subject: qotd: Repeal SGR, but don't privatize Medicare
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Repeal SGR, but don't privatize Medicare
March 25, 2015
By Don McCanne

In the fervor to finally rid us of the flawed SGR model of setting
Medicare payment rates, Congress is about to pass legislation (HR1470)
that includes ill-advised, misguided and detrimental policies that could
cause irreparable harm to our traditional Medicare program. Instead,
Congress should revise the current legislation to comply with the
following recommendations.


Recommendations

1. Repeal SGR

2. Extend the funding of CHIP for four years

3. Extend funding for community health centers

4. Reject unproven or detrimental policies

a. Reject the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) which
threatens the traditional Medicare program by creating an
administratively burdensome but unproven method of replacing volume with
value

b. Reject the Alternative Payment Models (APMs) as the only options
for escaping MIPS since APMs also remain unproven methods of replacing
volume with value

c. Reject the threat to quality care that can result from burnout of
health care professionals overburdened with the administrative excesses
of MIPS and APMs

d. Reject the false argument that SGR - a policy that has not been
implemented for many years - must somehow be paid for by other
reductions in public spending

e. Reject the political chicanery of introducing unrelated issues
into the legislation such as policy positions on pregnancy termination

f. Reject the expansion of means-tested premiums in Medicare which
would threaten solidarity in support of our Medicare program

g. Reject imposing deductibles under Medigap plans which would cause
too many patients to delay or forgo beneficial health care services

h. Reject these unproven or detrimental policies that would reduce
support of our traditional Medicare program, opening the door for those
who would privatize Medicare through premium-support (voucher) proposals.