Docs take a pass on SGR re­peal let­ter

Modern Healthcare - - OUTLIERS -

More proof that events in Washington are un­pre­dictable: A “dear col­leagues” let­ter to the Joint Se­lect Com­mit­tee on Deficit Re­duc­tion cir­cu­lated in the House urg­ing re­peal of the sus­tain­able growth-rate for­mula for Medi­care pay­ments—the bane of many docs’ ex­is­tence—did not get signed by most of the physi­cians serv­ing in the House.

In all, the let­ter was signed by 92 Democrats and 21 Repub­li­cans, but the vast ma­jor­ity of docs took a pass. Physi­cians sign­ing the let­ter were: Paul Broun (R-Ga.), Joe Heck (R-Nev.), Jim Mc­Der­mott (D-Wash.) and Phil Roe (R-Tenn.).

The 12 physi­cians who didn’t sign were: Dan Ben­ishek (R-Mich.), Charles Bous­tany (R-La.), Larry Buc­shon (R-Ind.), Michael Burgess (RTexas), Bill Cas­sidy (R. La.) Scott Des­Jar­lais (RTenn.), John Flem­ing (R-La.), Phil Gin­grey (R-Ga.) Andy Har­ris (R-Md.), Nan Hay­worth (R-N.Y.), Ron Paul (R-Texas), and Tom Price (R-Ga.). “Ev­ery­body was ap­proached,” Tali Is­raeli, a spokesper­son for Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) tells Out­liers.

Of the six non­sign­ers whose of­fices were con­tacted, only Burgess supplied an on-the-record re­sponse. “The SGR is a com­plex is­sue that will re­quire an in-depth look if we are go­ing to find a per­ma­nent fix,” Burgess wrote in an e-mail. “How­ever, the Se­lect Com­mit­tee is not where the SGR should be dis­sected to achieve this goal. The SGR should be fixed on the pol­icy side and the Se­lect Com­mit­tee should fo­cus on re­duc­ing the na­tion’s deficit. Their $1.5 tril­lion tar­get could be achieved by elim­i­nat­ing spend­ing that is slated to be­gin in the fu­ture. The per­fect ex­am­ple is the Af­ford­able Care Act.”

In an es­say pub­lished in the Washington Times, Burgess asked the com­mit­tee to con­sider elim­i­nat­ing Med­i­caid ex­pan­sions and health in­sur­ance premium and ex­change sub­si­dies called for in the Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act.

Paul

Hay­worth

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