Buchanan Scores 4th Major Legislative Win This Congress
WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan scored his fourth major legislative win of the 114th Congress this week with passage of his legislation to save Medicare Advantage plans used by thousands of seniors in his district and across the country. The bill is expected to be signed by President Obama as early as today.
This has been Buchanan’s most successful term yet when it comes to passing legislation he wrote and introduced. Other Buchanan accomplishments passed in previous sessions of Congress included citrus greening research, job training for veterans, funding for Sarasota National Cemetery and veterans’ health care.
The most recent win is Buchanan’s Seniors’ Health Care Plan Protection Act, which he wrote and introduced last year. His bill will save Medicare Advantage plans for thousands of seniors in Sarasota and Manatee counties. It was rolled into the 21st Century Cures Act, sweeping legislation intended to combat the opioid crisis, spur research and help end cancer.
Earlier this Congress three other legislative proposals authored by Buchanan were signed into law, either as part of a larger package or as a stand-alone legislation. It is common for single bills to get incorporated into larger, more comprehensive measures passed by Congress, like the 21st Century Cures Act. There is no distinction between whether a bill is enacted as a stand-alone measure or rolled into a larger package. The other Buchanan proposals that became law this Congress include:
- Veterans Identification Card Act, H.R. 91: Buchanan’s bill allowing all veterans in America to receive an official identification card was signed into law by President Obama on July 20, 2015. Several of the nation’s leading veterans service organizations supported the legislation, including the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Concerned Veterans for America and AMVETS.
- Taxpayer Identity Protection Act, H.R. 3568: Buchanan’s bill to safeguard the Social Security numbers of more than 100 million working Americans was included in a larger bill and signed into law in December 2015.
- No Subsidized Housing for Millionaires, H.Amdt. 909: The Congressman’s legislation to end taxpayer rip-offs in federally subsidized public housing was signed into law by President Obama on July 29, 2016 as part of the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act. Both the Manatee County Housing Authority and Sarasota Housing Authority supported the legislation.
“We need to protect Medicare for today’s seniors and future generations,” Buchanan said. “Thousands of seniors in Florida depend on these plans to meet their medical needs day in and day out and my bill ensures that they will not be unfairly terminated.”
Without Buchanan’s legislation, these plans would have been terminated due to a flawed rating system widely criticized by Democrats and Republicans, forcing thousands of seniors to find alternative coverage less suitable to their needs.
The U.S. Senate passed the 21st Century Cures Act containing Buchanan’s bill on Wednesday afternoon 94-5. The U.S. House approved the bill 392-26.