“Congress now has the opportunity to strengthen Medicare and end the annual need to cut the program to avoid drastic physician reimbursement reductions. Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi have crafted a framework that, over time, can make health care more affordable–for families and the country as a whole. Without action, Medicare physicians will see their reimbursement slashed, children could see their coverage taken away, and an outmoded fee-for-service system will continue to drive up the cost of health care.
“The House strategy is to pair a repeal of threatened provider cuts with real, long-term reform. The full legislative package would:
- Move Medicare past its current fee-for-service system by encouraging physicians to embrace new care and payment models, which are driving down costs in the private sector;
- Introduce new transparency reforms that will help Americans know exactly what they’re paying for at the hospital and doctor’s office;
- Preserve CHIP and its investments to ensure the next generation is healthier (and less costly long-term);
- Make permanent beneficiary protections for those moving from welfare into a job or for those who make under $15,750 a year; and
- Yield substantial reductions in federal spending over the next two decades… without broad-based cuts to benefits or increases to original Medicare’s deductibles.
These are important legislative achievements.
“But in Washington as in life, nothing good comes free. Those physicians who prosper simply by ordering more procedures and tests will have to accept having a greater share of their reimbursements tied to value. The hospital and nursing home industries will have to accept $30 billion in lower payments over ten years. And, it may be that 2% of Medicare beneficiaries who make more than $133,000 a year will have to accept a higher premium, and, beginning in 2020, that those who purchase certain new Medigap policies will have to shoulder a small deductible in their supplemental plan.
“NCHC has repeatedly urged Congress to pursue offset alternatives that achieve savings through better care, not shifting costs. And over the next few days, we will continue working with our member organizations to ensure final legislation does more to curb wasteful or unnecessary costs and offer the best possible deal for kids and seniors.
Failure to act now will only increase the cost of a solution later—for taxpayers and beneficiaries. If you’re a working parent who needs CHIP to keep your kid covered, or if you’re a senior who wants your Medicare to be there for the long haul, you need this deal to get done. These important reforms must not wait.”
See full press release: https://www.nchc.org/house-sgrchip-deal-enhances-health-care-affordability/