Buchanan Hails Senate Passage of Medicare Reform Bill
WASHINGTON – Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, made the following statement in response to the Senate passage of H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, a bill to strengthen Medicare and provide long-term certainty for our nation’s seniors. The legislation to permanently repeal and replace the flawed Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula now heads to President Obama’s desk for his expected signature.
“Passage of this bipartisan legislation is a testament to what Washington can accomplish when we work together to improve the lives of others,” Buchanan said. “I will continue to fight for a better health care system that does not strain or burden seniors and those at the front lines of our health care delivery system.”
As Florida’s only member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Medicare program, Buchanan noted that the Sunshine State has the second-highest number of Medicare eligible seniors of any state in the nation. There are 205,445 people eligible for Medicare in Sarasota and Manatee Counties which are located in Buchanan's congressional district.
The bill's key provisions would:
• Remove the threat of draconian cuts to Medicare providers and ensure a five-year period of annual fee increases as Medicare transitions to a new system that rewards health outcomes.
• Establish the first real, structural entitlement reform in nearly 20 years -- offsetting new spending without tax increases.
• Strengthen Medicare's ability to fight fraud by removing Social Security numbers from Medicare cards, preventing payment to deceased or ineligible individuals.
• Preserve and extend CHIP, fully funding the Children's Health Insurance Program through Sept. 30, 2017.