AGS and Other Organizations Urge Policy Makers to Continue Bipartisan Efforts to Repeal SGR
Friday, March 14, 2014
The AGS and 10 other organizations representing Medicare beneficiaries and healthcare providers applauded Congress’ bipartisan, bicameral effort to repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula in a letter yesterday. At the same time, however, the signers raised concerns over a subsequent, partisan effort.
Under the SGR, healthcare providers who care for Medicare beneficiaries face a 24% cut in reimbursement as of April 1 – a cutback that will drastically affect both beneficiaries’ access to care and healthcare professionals ability to provide such care, the letter notes, underscoring the importance of achieving reform prior to the first of April.
The letter expresses the group’s concern regarding a current effort to link SGR reform with changes to the Affordable Care Act, injecting partisan politics into the bipartisan legislation. This, the letter emphasizes, may jeopardize access to care for the more than 50 million Americans with Medicare. The letter also notes that “scheduling a vote on a bill which does not have bipartisan support undermines the months of hard work done by the Committees, their staffs, and concerned stakeholders.” Given the importance of ensuring Medicare beneficiaries’ continued access to essential healthcare, and doing so before April 1, the authors close with another call for bipartisan support for quality care for older adults. “We remain willing and eager to work with you,” the authors say in closing.