NAHC Meets with House Ways and Means Committee on Medicare Sequester Extension in Trade Bill
May 6, 2015 01:07 PM
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) met Monday with majority staff of the House Ways and Means Committee to express its very serious concerns with the extension of Medicare sequester to pay for certain costs stemming from trade legislation under consideration in both houses of Congress. NAHC was joined by representatives of the American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Medical Association (AMA), and the American Health Care Association (AHCA). This coalition of health care providers previously conveyed a joint letter to all members of Congress raising concerns with the use of scarce Medicare dollars to fund non-Medicare matters.
"Medicare should not be used as a piggy bank for other government spending, no matter how important that spending may be. Congress owes Medicare beneficiaries a special trust to manageMedicare funds in the best interests of those beneficiaries," stated Val J. Halamandaris, president of NAHC.
The trade bill is currently under consideration in the Senate and the House having already passed in committees of jurisdiction. While the exact timing is not yet known, it is possible that the full Senate will vote on the bill in the next ten days. The House is in a weeklong recess this week. As voted out of committee, the trade bill extends the Medicare sequester into 2024 with a 0.25% sequestration adjustment on all Medicare provider payments.
NAHC is calling on the home care and hospice communities to contact their representatives in Congress and ask that they find some better way to finance the trade bill. Using Medicare monies to fund this measure sets a bad precedent for future congressional actions. While NAHC is willing to work with Congress on meaningful policy reforms that could be needed to maintain financial Stability within Medicare, those reforms are severely handicapped if Medicare funding is used for general government spending matters.
Look to NAHC's Legislative Action Network for easy access to the information and tools to craft a message to your congressional delegation asking for support to drop the use of Medicare funds for non-Medicare spending.