Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Repeal SGR, but don't privatize Medicare

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.


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

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.

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