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'Now it is up to Senate to do its part,' say
March 26, 2015
(Washington) The American College of Physicians (ACP) today
commended Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for
reaching agreement on the policies included in the Medicare Access
and CHIP Reauthorization Act and for their steadfast leadership in
bringing the bill to a successful vote in the House of
Representatives. ACP President David A. Fleming, MD, MA, MACP,
thanked the House leaders and provided ACP's desired Senate action
in a letter
to Senate Majority Leader McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Reid,
Ranking Senate Finance Committee Member Wyden and Senate Finance
Committee Chairman Hatch.
"ACP strongly urges the Senate to immediately pass the Medicare
Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, H.R. 2, which was
passed by the House of Representatives just moments ago with an
impressive bipartisan majority," Dr. Fleming said. "It is
imperative that the Senate pass H.R. 2 before it recesses on
Friday, March 27, and before a devastating 21 percent Sustainable
Growth Rate (SGR) cut is applied to all physician services provided
to Medicare enrollees starting on April 1."
Dr. Fleming continued, "The House vote reflects the fact that
never before has there been such broad and bipartisan support
within and outside of Congress for policies to repeal the Medicare
SGR formula and to create a better payment system for physician
services provided to patients enrolled in Medicare. The vote
reflects the fact that never before has such a bill received the
support from so many stakeholders across the health care system:
hospitals, nursing homes, consumer advocacy organizations, unions,
payers, and over 750 physician membership organizations, national
Now, it is up to the Senate to do its part.
Dr. Fleming noted that, "By passing this bill no later than
Friday, March 27, the Senate will join the House in enacting
legislation to achieve historic reforms in physician payment while
making other needed healthcare improvements:
Addressing a much-talked about move, Dr. Fleming concluded the
letter by saying, "Some have suggested that Congress could pass
another temporary 'patch' to give the Senate more time to consider
the bill. We strongly disagree. The SGR repeal and the other
improvements that the bill makes in physician payment policies are
based directly on policies that were agreed to last year by the
Senate and House, Republicans and Democrats alike. Continued
funding for CHIP, NHSC, CHCs, and THCs has strong bipartisan and
bicameral support. After 17 SGR patches over 11 years, the last
thing Congress needs is more time to pass legislation to repeal the
SGR and reform physician payments."
The American College of Physicians is the
largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest
physician group in the United States. ACP members include 141,000
internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists,
and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists
who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the
diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the
spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.
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