Byrne Supports Long-Term ‘Doc Fix’ to Medicare, Individual Mandate Delay
Washington, DC – March 14, 2014 – Today, Representative Bradley Byrne (AL-1) supported passage of H.R. 4015, the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act. This bill enacts a long-term ‘doc fix’ by repealing the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) under Medicare, preventing a damaging 24 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements to physicians on April 1, 2014.
This bill is deficit neutral, paying for the SGR repeal by implementing a delay in the individual mandate of ObamaCare. The President granted multiple administrative delays to businesses over the past year. Earlier this week, the Administration quietly released a rule stating they would allow for a hardship exemption under the individual mandate through 2016 without requiring proof from applicants – a de facto delay of the mandate. Republicans in Congress argue this is a basic fairness issue for families, and that the Administration should allow Congress to grant a full delay of the individual mandate. By delaying this portion of the law, the government will save billions of dollars in outlays by delaying subsidies guaranteed by this portion of the law.
Byrne said: “Today, the House of Representatives is taking action to protect doctors who care for our seniors and families from a catastrophic Medicare reimbursement cut that would throw our healthcare system into chaos, threatening access for Southwest Alabama. This long-term fix is a landmark agreement over ten years in the making. It significantly reforms the Medicare program, providing greater flexibility for physicians while preserving access for seniors and families.
“The Senate should pass this proposal without delay. It is irresponsible to hold seniors and families hostage over a political struggle to save face over the broken ObamaCare law. The President has already granted numerous delays for businesses under his healthcare law. Earlier this week, the Administration attempted to quietly sweep this issue under the rug with a hardship exemption under the individual mandate.
“It’s time for Congress to stand together to grant relief for families, seniors, and doctors with the force of law. This bill accomplishes these goals without adding to the deficit. I call on the Senate to take swift action to send this bill to the President’s desk.”