Dr. Bucshon’s Applauds Bipartisan Medicare Fix



(WASHINGTON, DC) – On Thursday, the House approved H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. H.R. 2 replaces Medicare’s flawed physician payment formula, the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) with bipartisan, bicameral reforms that help protect the Medicare promise. This unprecedented effort removes the imminent threat of draconian cuts to Medicare providers and moves Medicare away from a volume-based system towards one that rewards value, improving the quality of care for seniors.


Congressman Larry Bucshon, M.D. (IN-08) released the following statement regarding passage of H.R. 2:


“Today’s vote was an unprecedented victory for America’s seniors, children, and their families.  After years of flawed Medicare policy, we are finally creating a stable system that ensures Medicare patients will have access to their doctors while protecting the Medicare promise for future generations. Gone are the days of uncertainty for physicians and their patients. With this bipartisan compromise we’ve demonstrated how Washington, D.C. can work together to improve the lives of the American people.


“As one of a small number of physicians in Congress, I’m happy to have played a part in putting an end to this flawed policy.  In addition, I was able to work with my democratic colleague and fellow physician Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA) to include a provision that eliminated a CMS policy that would have resulted in a dramatic increase in the out-of-pocket costs for seniors. I’m proud of our bipartisan work on this important issue and I thank my colleagues for joining with us to get this done.


“I congratulate Speaker Boehner, Minority Leader Pelosi, Chairman Upton, Ranking Member Pallone, and Chairman Pitts for all their commitment to ending SGR.” 


Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) highlighted Dr. Bucshon’s work on H.R. 2 stating:


“We are saying goodbye to the SGR thanks, in large part, to the diligent efforts of Dr. Bucshon and his physician colleagues in the Doctor’s Caucus. They know better than anyone the importance of eliminating this repeated threat and establishing a fair and stable system for Medicare payments. We can all be proud of the bipartisan effort by the House today.” 


H.R. 2 passed with a strong bipartisan vote of 392 to 37. A section by section analysis of the bill is available here.


On Wednesday, Dr. Bucshon and Rep. Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA) authored an op-ed in The Hill offering a physician’s perspective on the importance of H.R. 2. The physician lawmakers wrote: “We know what it’s really like in the exam room, and the real consequences that inadequate and uncertain Medicare payments have on patient care. Our seniors and their physicians should not have to continue to bear the consequences of Congress’ failure to fix a problem Congress created. This time we can’t let politics get in the way of progress. With 49 million patients enrolled in Medicare and another 10,000 baby-boomers aging in each day, we have a responsibility to seize this historic occasion to pass a bipartisan SGR repeal and to right the Medicare system once and for all.”



The SGR formula was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in 1997 to control Medicare spending. The flawed Medicare formula has proven over time to be ineffective and put seniors’ access to physicians at risk. The SGR policy flaws have compelled Congress to override the formula-driven cuts for more than a decade.  In fact, since 2003, Congress has spent nearly $170 billion in short-term patches to avoid these unsustainable cuts.  The most recent patch will expire on March 31, 2015.  H.R. 2 repeals the SGR, averting a 21 percent SGR-induced cut scheduled for April 1, 2015.


Congressman Larry Bucshon, a physician from Southern Indiana, is serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives. In the 114th Congress, Bucshon will serve on the influential House Committee on Energy and Commerce.  The 8th District of Indiana includes all or parts of Clay, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Martin, Owen, Parke, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Sullivan, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, and Warrick counties.