H.R. 2, “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015” replaces H.R. 1470, “SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2015”
By Don McCanne, M.D.
Yesterday, March 24, H.R. 2 was introduced in the House of Representatives. H.R. 1470, the subject of recent Quote of the Day messages, has been included in H.R. 2 as Title I. H.R. 2 is the legislation that the House will pass tomorrow.
The bill is now 263 pages long. It contains the following Titles:
TITLE I–SGR REPEAL AND MEDICARE PROVIDER PAYMENT MODERNIZATION
SGR repeal and replacement with MIPS and APMs
TITLE II–MEDICARE AND OTHER HEALTH EXTENDERS
Twenty-one Medicare and other health extenders, including extension of funding for community health centers and the National Health Service Corps
Two year extension of CHIP
Means-tested Medicare premiums and elimination of deductible coverage in Medigap plans
Twenty-five miscellaneous provisions
THIS EXPANSION OF THE ACT DOES NOT CHANGE ANY OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS SENT OUT EARLIER TODAY:
1. REPEAL SGR
2. EXTEND CHIP FINANCING FOR FOUR MORE YEARS
3. EXTEND FUNDING FOR COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS
4. REJECT UNPROVEN AND DETRIMENTAL POLICIES CONTAINED IN THE ACT
In addition, beneficial measures added to H.R. 2 should be enacted, but they need to be sorted out from inappropriate or deleterious policies that have been added to this act.
At this time Congress should simply repeal SGR, fund CHIP, fund community health centers and the National Health Service Corps, and refer all other provisions for further study by the appropriate committees.