Fred in the News

Say Goodbye to the SGR

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Washington, March 31, 2015 | comments

There is no shortage of complex policy acronyms in Washington, but last week, we took a bold step to finally erase one from our vocabulary.

Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) has plagued seniors, Medicare physicians, and Congress for nearly two decades. The SGR is a flawed formula that places quantity ahead of quality in seniors’ health care. Its price controls would wreak havoc on Medicare, and Congress finds itself in crisis mode every time the SGR looms. To date, the solution has been to temporarily stave off the cuts just to protect seniors’ access to their trusted doctors.

Last week, however, instead of another temporary reprieve, we put in place a better system – one that promotes higher quality care for seniors while also enacting Medicare reforms to put the program on more sound fiscal footing.

The package that the House of Representatives advanced by a bipartisan vote of 392-37 will permanently fix the broken Medicare payment formula. It will also strengthen the program in the long term, and extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which covers nearly 45,000 children in Michigan (MIChild).

Bottom line: It’s good for Michigan seniors, kids, and our important community health centers.

This was a long time coming. Most of us came to Congress to fight for our nation’s kids, seniors, and their families. Last week’s historic vote was a defining moment for this Congress and for Medicare.

NOTE: This originally ran in the Tri City Record.
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