In the coming weeks, the House of Representatives will consider several bills important to seniors. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) highlights these bills in the following excerpt from his briefing memorandum of May 29 to House Republicans:
June 15th – 18th
“With the economic downturn and rising health care costs, seniors, like so many other Americans, have seen their finances spread thin. Obamacare makes it even worse. Beyond Obamacare’s added costs, reduced choice and access to Medicare Advantage plans for seniors, the law’s 15 person Independent Payment Advisory Board acts as a de facto rationing body through arbitrary cuts to providers that can effectively stop access to care in order to control costs.
“In the name of helping seniors, Obamacare is actually hurting them by weakening Medicare and increasing costs. The House is acting this week to uphold our promise to defend America’s seniors with a combination of the following bills from the Ways and Means Committee that reduce the costs of Obamacare, stop Medicare rationing, and improve the Medicare Advantage (MA) program:
- H.R. 160, the Protect Medical Innovation Act (Paulsen), which repeals the onerous 2.3% excise tax on medical device manufacturers which not only harms jobs and innovation but also seniors who rely on these life-saving devices.
- H.R. 1190, the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act (Roe), which repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a panel of 15 unelected and unaccountable government bureaucrats tasked with reducing Medicare costs through arbitrary cuts to providers, limiting access to care for seniors.
- H.R. 2505, the Medicare Advantage Coverage Transparency Act of 2015 (M. Kelly), which requires greater transparency by requiring the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to annually report on enrollment data in MA plans.
- H.R. 2506, the Seniors’ Health Care Plan Protection Act of 2015 (Buchanan), which delays the authority to terminate MA contracts for plans failing to achieve minimum quality ratings under the Medicare Advantage STARS rating system – allowing seniors to choose and keep the plan that fits their needs.
- H.R. 2507, the Increasing Regulatory Fairness Act of 2015 (K. Brady), which expands an annual regulatory schedule for MA payment rates so that stakeholders have the necessary time to review and provide feedback to ensure seniors continue to have access to quality low-cost plans of their choosing.
- H.R 2579, the Securing Care for Seniors Act of 2015 (Black), which requires CMS to reevaluate and as appropriate make changes to the MA risk adjustment model to ensure that it is accurate, evidence-based and transparent so that seniors can maintain the choice and access to low-cost quality plans. The legislation also includes a Sense of Congress regarding ongoing efforts to reform the Medicare Advantage STARS program.
- H.R. 2570, the Value Based Insurance Design for Better Care Act of 2015 (Black), which establishes a demonstration program that removes barriers and allows plans to innovate and incentivize high-value care that promotes better health outcomes through varying their plan benefits based on beneficiary population.
“The House may also consider H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act (Upton). This important bill aims to make sure government doesn’t get in the way of, but rather enables, innovation through streamlining and accelerating the discovery, development, and delivery of medical cures for patients.
June 23rd – 26th
“The House will end the month with several bills from the Energy and Commerce Committee which will protect consumers from burdensome & costly EPA regulations, keep the decision power in the hands of the states, and help modernize outdated laws:
- H.R. 2042, the Ratepayer Protection Act (Whitfield), which addresses EPA’s pending carbon dioxide (CO2) regulations for existing power plants. It would allow for judicial review of any final rule before states would be required to comply and would empower states to protect families and businesses from electricity rate increases, reduced electric reliability, and other harmful effects.
- H.R. 1734, the Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act (McKinley), which is a bipartisan bill that provides job-creators, and over 300,000 workers, with certainty by putting states in charge of the enforcement authority to implement the standards set by EPA regarding the safe disposal of coal ash. …
“Finally, let’s see who can be the first to correctly answer this month’s trivia question: Which President’s birth name was Leslie King Jr.?”