“Chairman Ryan and Ranking Member Levin are to be commended for working together to advance legislation improving care and lowering costs in Medicare and Medicare Advantage (MA) in particular.
“Today’s markup will consider several constructive, bipartisan bills, including measures to:
- Enable MA plans to test Value-Based Insurance Designs (VBID) which lower cost-sharing for beneficiaries seeking the best care and the best providers (H.R. 2581);
- Provide greater opportunity for public input in the establishment of policies affecting the MA and Part D plans (H.R. 2507); and
- Instruct CMS to take a second look at risk adjustment policies that may be punishing MA plans that enroll chronically ill beneficiaries (H.R. 2579).
“The Committee will also act on S. 971, a Senate-approved bill to extend the Independence at Home Demonstration, a proven model of in-home primary care which is already improving outcomes and lowering costs.
“The VBID and Independence at Home provisions, in particular, advance alternative models of payment and delivery central to long-term health care affordability. NCHC especially welcomes their consideration today.
“However, the inclusion in today’s markup of legislation repealing the ACA’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) is less encouraging. As structured under current law, the IPAB does have flaws, but Congress has yet to unite around an alternative approach to curb Medicare or systemwide cost growth over the long term. With health care costs continuing to squeeze families and employers alike, rolling back existing cost containment mechanisms is ill-advised.
“Instead, going forward, let’s hope lawmakers keep their focus on bipartisan improvements that actually curb costs and improve care.”
For additional information, please see: