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Foster Supports Protecting Medicare Payments

Mar 14, 2014
Press Release
Calls For House Republicans To Stop Playing Politics With Seniors Health Care

Washington, DC – This week, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) voted to support a permanent fix to the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) in Medicare.  Foster co-sponsored H.R. 4209, which includes bipartisan legislation to repeal and replace the SGR, providing a permanent fix to the SGR problem by capping the amount spent on wars overseas. 

Today, Foster also voted against H.R. 4015, partisan legislation introduced by House Republicans, marking the 51st attempt to undermine or repeal the Affordable Care Act. The legislation would provide a permanent fix to the SGR by delaying the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act by five years. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that this delay would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 13 million and increase premiums by 10 to 20 percent.  Leading medical and seniors’ advocacy organizations have spoken out against this legislation, including the American Medical Association, American Health Insurance Plans, AARP, and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

“A clean fix for Medicare payments came through committee with a clear bipartisan majority, but instead of introducing the fix with a straightforward payment, Republicans used this to attempt to undermine or repeal the Affordable Care Act for the 51st time,” said Foster. “This legislation, which has no chance of passing in the Senate, is just another cynical attempt by House Republicans to hold the country hostage. There is broad bipartisan agreement that Congress must pass a permanent fix to the Sustainable Growth Rate in Medicare to ensure seniors get access to the medical care they need.  But instead of offering a solution, Republicans are using this as another opportunity for partisan obstruction.”

Enacted in 1997, the Sustainable Growth Rate, commonly referred to as the SGR, is a formula used to determine Medicare payments to providers like doctors and hospitals. Since 2003, the SGR required a reduction in Medicare payments to providers, and Congress has acted each year to prevent the cut from taking place.