March 14, 2014
Contact: Larry McNeely
National Coalition on Health Care
202-638-7151, ext. 109
Statement from National Coalition on Health Care President and CEO John Rother on the
Congressional Debate over SGR Reform
“The National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC) appeals to Congress to get serious about SGR reform.
Today, the House approved a bill that married otherwise bipartisan reforms with a politically charged pay-for, a five-year delay of the individual insurance mandate. The only savings that their chosen offset would generate come at the expense of consumers. Millions in state insurance marketplaces would face 10-20% rate hikes, and millions more would go without coverage.
The Senate majority’s approach is superior. As introduced by Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) this week, the Senate bill avoids the outright cost-shifting included in the House package. It also includes extensions of certain expiring health care “extenders” that are vital to vulnerable beneficiaries. Senate passage of this bill would represent an important step toward reform.
But without an offset package acceptable to the House, the current Senate language is unlikely to become law.
So, as soon as possible, the House and Senate need to return to the real work ahead: finding agreement on permanent SGR repeal and the strongest possible provider payment reforms, as well as health care “extenders” and offsets that build on value-based reforms to health care payment, delivery and benefits, without shifting costs to consumers, providers or payers.”