Letter to John Boehner, Speaker of the House, and Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the House - Reps. Flores, Maffei Lead Bipartisan Effort to Pass Long-Term Fix to Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate

Letter

By: Jim Matheson, Rob Wittman, Jim Langevin, Alan Lowenthal, Lynn Westmoreland, Bobby Rush, Rob Woodall, Gary Miller, Nick Rahall II, Grace Meng, Leonard Lance, Lamar Smith, Bill Shuster, Frank Wolf, Mike McIntyre, Derek Kilmer, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Tim Murphy, Marlin Stutzman, Dave Joyce, Scott Tipton, Gary Peters, Michael McCaul, Brian Higgins, Rich Nugent, Dutch Ruppersberger, Steven Palazzo, Mike Pompeo, Tom Rooney, Doug Lamborn, Carolyn McCarthy, Pedro Pierluisi, Bob Goodlatte, Suzan DelBene, Tim Bishop, Sam Graves, Louie Gohmert, Paul Broun, Tony Cárdenas, Eliot Engel, Yvette Clarke, Joe Garcia, Mo Brooks, Gerry Connolly, John Yarmuth, Bill Posey, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Eleanor Norton, Jackie Walorski, Andy Harris, Robert Pittenger, Steve Pearce, Patrick Murphy, Tom Rice, Eric Swalwell, Richard Hanna, Beto O'Rourke, Walter Jones, Jr., Steve Scalise, Jared Polis, Jared Huffman, Pete Sessions, Brad Wenstrup, Mike Simpson, George Holding, Vern Buchanan, Jeff Fortenberry, Bill Cassidy, Cory Gardner, Blake Farenthold, Henry Cuellar, Marsha Blackburn, Ami Bera, Gus Bilirakis, Cheri Bustos, Ralph Hall, Jim Costa, Peter Welch, Mike Honda, Gwen Moore, Raul Ruiz, Bill Pascrell, Jr., Austin Scott, Jerry McNerney, Randy Weber, Sr., Trey Radel, Ed Whitfield, Steve Israel, Barbara Lee, David Price, Sean Maloney, Alan Nunnelee, Mike Turner, Rubén Hinojosa, Sr., Keith Rothfus, Ted Poe, Chellie Pingree, Tom Price, Bill Foster, Steve Chabot, John Carter, John Carney, Jr., Tulsi Gabbard, Mike Conaway, Kay Granger, Steve Daines, Michael Grimm, Sam Farr, Chris Gibson, Bob Brady, Bill Flores, Jeb Hensarling, Vicky Hartzler, Mick Mulvaney, Ed Royce, Tom Petri, Ben Lujan, Jr., Marc Veasey, Rick Nolan, Ann Kuster, Mike Quigley, Colleen Hanabusa, Joe Pitts, Cedric Richmond, Robin Kelly, John Sarbanes, Ann Kirkpatrick, Mark Pocan, Mike Kelly, Jr., Louise Slaughter, Frank Lucas, Stephen Fincher, John Barrow, Paul Gosar, Michele Bachmann, Joe Courtney, Tom Cole, Scott DesJarlais, Suzanne Bonamici, Julia Brownley, Doug Collins, Tom Latham, Scott Rigell, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Kyrsten Sinema, Chris Stewart, Juan Vargas, Joe Wilson, Sr., Adam Schiff, Phil Roe, Mark Takano, Zoe Lofgren, Steve Stockman, Richard Hudson, Jr., Adam Kinzinger, Albio Sires, Jim Himes, Kristi Noem, Tom Marino, John Mica, Steven Horsford, Billy Long, Brett Guthrie, Sean Duffy, Sanford Bishop, Jr., Rodney Davis, André Carson, Mario Diaz-Balart, Marcia Fudge, Ted Deutch, Alan Grayson, Jim Bridenstine, Keith Ellison, Dan Lipinski, Don Payne, Jr., Jack Kingston, Patrick McHenry, David McKinley, Denny Heck, Duncan Hunter, Betty McCollum, Luke Messer, Tom Reed II, Donald Young, Dan Kildee, Doris Matsui, Bill Owens, Bob Latta, Jackie Speier, Dennis Ross, Carolyn Maloney, Rush Holt, Jr., Michelle Lujan Grisham, Dina Titus, Trent Franks, Charlie Dent, Lou Barletta, Tammy Duckworth, Renee Ellmers, Dan Maffei, John Garamendi, Larry Bucshon, Michael Coffman, Steve Cohen, Mark Amodei, Rick Crawford, Todd Rokita, Matt Salmon, David Scott, Pete King, Joe Heck, Jr., Cynthia Lummis, Reid Ribble, John Shimkus, Tim Walberg, Tim Huelskamp, Kevin Yoder, Dave Loebsack, Doc Hastings, Bill Johnson, Lee Terry, Randy Hultgren, Tim Walz, Ted Yoho, Mike Michaud, Filemon Vela, Jr., Susan Brooks, Madeleine Bordallo, Mike Fitzpatrick, Tom Graves, Jr., Elizabeth Esty, Mike Doyle, Jr., Dan Benishek, Andy Barr, Bruce Braley, Shelley Capito, Charles Boustany, Jr., Raul Grijalva, Pete Visclosky, Brad Schneider, Collin Peterson, Ron Kind, Kurt Schrader, Steve Womack, Pat Meehan, Scott Peters, Mike Rogers, Phil Gingrey, Kevin Cramer, Jim Gerlach, Michael Burgess, John Culberson, John Delaney, Lois Capps, Bill Enyart, Judy Chu, Ron Barber, Lois Frankel, Gene Green
Date: Nov. 22, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Representatives Bill Flores (R-Texas) and Dan Maffei (D-NY) today announced strong bipartisan support for their initiative to urge Congressional leaders to pass a long-term fix to the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula for physician payments.

"Our nation's physicians continue to face uncertainly as their Medicare reimbursement rates are being outpaced by the growth in health care costs. There is wide bipartisan support to fix the Sustainable Growth Rate formula," Rep. Flores said. "It is time Congress work to enact reforms and permanently replace the flawed formula with a system that rewards quality, helps control costs and provides fair compensation for doctors."

"Repealing the broken Sustainable Growth Rate formula will provide more certainty to our health care providers and protect our seniors' access to high quality health care," said Rep. Maffei. "Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle agree that the current SGR formula is deeply flawed, and I am proud to see a majority of my Democratic and Republican colleagues in the House come together to advocate for a fiscally responsible long-term solution that makes sense for patients and physicians."

Representatives Flores and Maffei spearheaded a bipartisan letter signed by 259 Members of Congress to House Speaker John Boehner and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi requesting enactment of fiscally responsible reforms to the Medicare physician payment system.

Full text of the letter is below and available at flores.house.gov/uploads/SGR-leadership-letter.pdf
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Dear Speaker Boehner/Leader Pelosi:

We commend the substantial efforts of our House colleagues thus far to reform the Medicare physician payment system and share their urgency to address this critical issue this year. More should be done and we stand committed to permanently repeal the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula this year.

With the current full cost of repeal cut in half to $139 billion, repealing the SGR formula is a fiscally responsible step toward overall reform. Congress, over the past decade, has spent $146 billion in short term SGR patches, more than the current cost of repeal. Continuing to enact short-term patches is bad fiscal policy - equivalent to paying the monthly minimum on a credit card bill - and increases the cost of full repeal.

Moreover, fiscal uncertainly makes it difficult for physician practices, which are small businesses, to invest in the necessary infrastructure to better serve their patients. Full repeal of the SGR also paves the way for reasonable, comprehensive payment reform and protecting Medicare beneficiary access to physician services.

We should not pass up this chance to repeal the SGR --with fiscally responsible offsets-- and enact a permanent solution. This year represents a great opportunity to repeal the flawed SGR formula, reform health care delivery to drive quality and efficiency, and set Medicare on a more stable and predictable course for current and future generations of patients and physicians. We appreciate your attention to this issue and look forward to working with you.

Sincerely,

Rep. Bill Flores (TX-17)
Rep. Daniel Maffei (NY-24)
Rep. Mark Amodei (NV-02)
Rep. Michelle Bachmann (MN-06)
Rep. Ron Barber (AZ-02),
Rep. Lou Barletta (PA-11)
Rep. Andy Barr (KY-06)
Rep. John Barrow (GA-12)
Rep. Dan Benishek (MI-01)
Rep. Ami Bera (CA-07)
Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12)
Rep. Tim Bishop (NY-01)
Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA-02)
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN-07)
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01)
Rep. Madeline Bordallo (GU)
Rep. Charles Boustany (LA-03)
Rep. Robert Brady (PA-01)
Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01)
Rep. Jim Bridenstine (OK-01)
Rep. Mo Brooks (AL-05)
Rep. Susan Brooks (IN-05)
Rep. Paul Broun (GA-10)
Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26)
Rep. Vern Buchanan (FL-16)
Rep. Larry Bucshon (IN-08)
Rep. Michael Burgess (TX-26)
Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
Rep. Shelley Capito (WV-02)
Rep. Lois Capps (CA-24)
Rep. Tony Cardenas (CA-29)
Rep. John Carney (DE-At Large)
Rep. Andre Carson (IN-07)
Rep. John Carter (TX-31)
Rep. Bill Cassidy (LA-06)
Rep. Steve Chabot (OH-01)
Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27)
Rep. Yvette Clarke (NY-09)
Rep. Mike Coffman (CO-06)
Rep. Steve Cohen (TN-09)
Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04)
Rep. Doug Collins (GA-09)
Rep. Michael Conaway (TX-11)
Rep. Gerald Connolly (VA-11)
Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16)
Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-02)
Rep. Kevin Cramer (ND-At Large)
Rep. Eric Crawford (AR-01)
Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Rep. John Culberson (TX-07)
Rep. Steve Daines (MT-At Large)
Rep. Rodney Davis (IL-13)
Rep. John Delaney (MD-06)
Rep. Suzan DelBene (WA-01)
Rep. Charles Dent (PA-15)
Rep. Scott DesJarlais (TN-04)
Rep. Theodore Deutch (FL-21)
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25)
Rep. Michael Doyle (PA-14)
Rep. Tammy Duckworth (IL-08)
Rep. Sean Duffy (WI-07)
Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-05)
Rep. Renee Ellmers (NC-02)
Rep. Eliot Engel (NY-16)
Rep. William Enyart (IL-12)
Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT-05)
Rep. Blake Farenthold (TX-27)
Rep. Sam Farr (CA-20)
Rep. Stephen Fincher (TN-08)
Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (PA-08)
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01)
Rep. Bill Foster (IL-11)
Rep. Lois Frankel (FL-22)
Rep. Trent Franks (AZ-08)
Rep. Marcia Fudge (OH-11)
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02)
Rep. John Garamendi (CA-03)
Rep. Joe Garcia (FL-26)
Rep. Cory Gardner (CO-04)
Rep. Jim Gerlach (PA-06)
Rep. Christopher Gibson (NY-19)
Rep. Phil Gingrey (GA-11)
Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01)
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (VA-06)
Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ-04)
Rep. Kay Granger (TX-12)
Rep. Sam Graves (MO-06)
Rep. Tom Graves (GA-14)
Rep. Alan Grayson (FL-09)
Rep. Gene Green (TX-29)
Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ-03)
Rep. Michael Grimm (NY-11)
Rep. Brett Guthrie (KY-02)
Rep. Ralph Hall (TX-04)
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01)
Rep. Richard Hanna (NY-22)
Rep. Andy Harris (MD-01)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (MO-04)
Rep. Doc Hastings (WA-04)
Rep. Denny Heck (WA-10)
Rep. Joe Heck (NV-03)
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (TX-05)
Rep. Brian Higgins (NY-26)
Rep. James Himes (CT-04)
Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15)
Rep. George Holding (NC-13)
Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12)
Rep. Michael Honda (CA-17)
Rep. Steven Horsford (NV-04)
Rep. Richard Hudson (NC-08)
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (KS-01)
Rep. Jared Huffman (CA-02)
Rep. Randy Hultgren (IL-14)
Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA-50)
Rep. Steve Israel (NY-03)
Rep. Bill Johnson (OH-06)
Rep. Walter Jones (NC-03)
Rep. David Joyce (OH-14)
Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-02)
Rep. Mike Kelly (PA-03)
Rep. Daniel Kildee (MI-05)
Rep. Derek Kilmer (WA-06)
Rep. Ron Kind (WI-03)
Rep. Peter King (NY-02)
Rep. Jack Kingston (GA-01)
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL-16)
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01)
Rep. Ann Kuster (NH-02)
Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-05)
Rep. Leonard Lance (NJ-07)
Rep. James Langevin (RI-02)
Rep. Tom Latham (IA-03)
Rep. Robert Latta (OH-05)
Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13)
Rep. Daniel Lipinski (IL-03)
Rep. David Loebsack (IA-02)
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-19)
Rep. Billy Long (MO-07)
Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47)
Rep. Frank Lucas (OK-03)
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03)
Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03)
Rep. Grisham Lujan (NM-01)
Rep. Cynthia Lummis (WY-At Large)
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-12)
Rep. Sean Maloney (NY-18)
Rep. Tom Marino (PA-10)
Rep. Jim Matheson (UT-04)
Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-06)
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (NY-04)
Rep. Michael McCaul (TX-10)
Rep. Betty McCollum (MN-04)
Rep. Patrick McHenry (NC-10)
Rep. Mike McIntrye (NC-07)
Rep. David McKinley (WV-01)
Rep. Jerry McNerney (CA-09)
Rep. Patrick Meehan (PA-07)
Rep. Grace Meng (NY-06)
Rep. Luke Messer (IN-06)
Rep. John Mica (FL-07)
Rep. Michael Michaud (ME-02)
Rep. Gary Miller (CA-31)
Rep. Gwen Moore (WI-04)
Rep. Mick Mulvaney (SC-05)
Rep. Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
Rep. Tim Murphy (PA-18)
Rep. Kiristi Noem (SD-At Large)
Rep. Richard Nolan (MN-08)
Rep. Eleanor Norton (DC)
Rep. Richard Nugent (FL-11)
Rep. Alan Nunnelee (MS-01)
Rep. Beto O'Rourke (TX-16)
Rep. William Owens (NY-21)
Rep. Steven Palazzo (MS-04)
Rep. Bill Pascrell (NJ-09)
Rep. Donald Payne (NJ-10)
Rep. Stevan Pearce (NM-02)
Rep. Gary Peters (MI-14)
Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52)
Rep. Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Rep. Thomas Petri (WI-06)
Rep. Pedro Pierluisi (PR)
Rep. Chellie Pingree (ME-01)
Rep. Robert Pittenger (NC-09)
Rep. Joseph Pitts (PA-16)
Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02)
Rep. Ted Poe (TX-02)
Rep. Jared Polis (CO-02)
Rep. Mike Pompeo (KS-04)
Rep. Bill Posey (FL-08)
Rep. David Price (NC-04)
Rep. Tom Price (GA-06)
Rep. Mike Quigley (IL-05)
Rep. Trey Radel (FL-19)
Rep. Nick Rahall (WV-03)
Rep. Tom Reed (NY-23)
Rep. Reid Ribble (WI-08)
Rep. Tom Rice (SC-07)
Rep. Cedric Richmond (LA-02)
Rep. Scott Rigell (VA-02)
Rep. David Roe (TN-01)
Rep. Mike Rogers (MI-08)
Rep. Todd Rokita (IN-04)
Rep. Thomas Rooney (FL-17)
Rep. Ilena Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27)
Rep. Dennis Ross (FL-15)
Rep. Keith Rothfus (PA-12)
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40)
Rep. Edward Royce (CA-39)
Rep. Raul Ruiz (CA-36)
Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02)
Rep. Bobby Rush (IL-01)
Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05)
Rep. John Sarbanes (MD-03)
Rep. Steve Scalise (LA-01)
Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-28)
Rep. Bradley Schneider (IL-10)
Rep. Kurt Schrader (OR-05)
Rep. David Scott (GA-13)
Rep. Austin Scott (GA-08)
Rep. Pete Sessions (TX-32)
Rep. John Shimkus (IL-15)
Rep. Bill Shuster (PA-09)
Rep. Michael Simpson (ID-02)
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Rep. Albio Sires (NJ-08)
Rep. Louise Slaughter (NY-25)
Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-21)
Rep. Jackie Speier (CA-14)
Rep. Chris Stewart (UT-02)
Rep. Steve Stockman (TX-36)
Rep. Marlin Stutzman (IN-03)
Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15)
Rep. Mark Takano (CA-41)
Rep. Lee Terry (NE-02)
Rep. Scott Tipton (CO-03)
Rep. Dina Titus (NV-01)
Rep. Michael Turner (OH-10)
Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51)
Rep. Marc Veasey (TX-33)
Rep. Filemon Vela (TX-34)
Rep. Peter Visclosky (IN-01)
Rep. Tim Walberg (MI-07)
Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02)
Rep. Timothy Walz (MN-01)
Rep. Randy Weber (TX-14)
Rep. Peter Welch (VT-At Large)
Rep. Brad Wenstrup (OH-02)
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03)
Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-01)
Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02)
Rep. Robert Wittman (VA-01)
Rep. Frank Wolf (VA-10)
Rep. Steve Womack (AR-03)
Rep. Rob Woodall (GA-07)
Rep. John Yarmuth (KY-03)
Rep. Kevin Yoder (KS-03)
Rep. Ted Yoho (FL-03)
Rep. Don Young (AK-At Large)


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