White House position on H.R. 2 – Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act

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from The White House,

The Administration supports House passage of H.R. 2 because it would reform the flawed Medicare physician payment system toincentivize quality and value (a proposal called for in the President’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget), would make reforms that could help slow health care cost growth, and would extend other important programs such as health care coverage for children.

Medicare payments to physicians are determined under a formula, commonly referred to as the “sustainable growth rate”(SGR). This formula has called for reductions in physician payment rates since 2002, which the Congress has overridden 17 times. Under the SGR, physician payment rates would be reduced by about 21 percent on April 1, 2015. A cut of this magnitude
could reduce access to physicians for Medicare beneficiaries throughout the country. H.R. 2 would replace this system with one that offers predictability and accelerates participation in
alternative payment models that encourage quality and efficiency. The proposal would advance the Administration’s goal of moving the Nation’s health care delivery system toward one that
achieves better care, smarter spending, and healthier people through the expansion of new health
care payment models, which could contribute to slowing long-term health care cost growth.

The Administration also supports the legislation’s inclusion of a continuation of policies and
funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The President’s Budget includes a
four-year extension of this program, which has provided meaningful health coverage to over eight
million children; extending CHIP would ensure continued, comprehensive, affordable coverage for these children. H.R. 2 also includes other important proposals in the President’s Budget, such as an extension of the Home Visiting Program and additional funding for the Community Health Center (CHC) Fund, although the legislation includes restrictions on the use of the CHC Fund which would be unnecessary given Executive Order 13535. The Administration supports the
legislation’s provision to make permanent the Qualifying Individual program, which pays the Medicare Part B premiums for certain low-income Medicare beneficiaries

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