Key House Panel Approves Buchanan Bill to Protect Seniors
WASHINGTON – The House Ways and Means Committee today approved bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, to preserve Medicare Advantage for thousands of seniors in Sarasota and Manatee counties.
The “Seniors Health Care Plan Protection Act” (H.R. 2506) would prevent the Obama administration from terminating certain Medicare Advantage plans. The administration has threatened to unilaterally terminate certain Medicare Advantage plans which are unable to meet the complex demands of the current CMS Five-Star rating system. These plans largely serve low-income individuals who are in poor health.
“Medicare Advantage plans have a proven track record of improving health outcomes, reducing costs, and offering much needed personal choice to seniors,” Buchanan said. “I am fully committed to strengthening and preserving this vitally important program anyway we can. In speaking with seniors and health care providers throughout my district, it is clear that there is ample room for improvement in Medicare Advantage’s STARS rating system. While we work to improve this flawed rating system, my bill ensures that seniors in the program can continue to receive care from the doctor of their choice.”
Buchanan, a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee, introduced the Seniors’ Health Care Plan Protection Act with Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) and the Vice Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).
Buchanan’s legislation is scheduled to be voted on by the full House of Representatives later this month.