WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) delivered remarks on the floor of the House of Representatives in support of H.J. Res. 59 and the temporary agreement on the Sustainable Growth Rate. The Energy and Commerce Committee passed a permanent repeal and replacement for the flawed SGR formula in July. Chairman Upton issued a statement applauding the progress toward a permanent solution made today by the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee.
Remarks as prepared:
It’s important that seniors don’t find a lump of coal in their stocking for Christmas. This fully offset package represents access to healthcare for 40 million seniors. It would give seniors the peace of mind of knowing that their trusted physician will be there when they need them most by securing stable payments for doctors.
Since its passage in 1997, SGR has bred uncertainty and frustration. This uncertainty has left seniors in the lurch, wondering if their doctors would be able to remain in practice and available for check ups and consultation. This is no way to keep Americans healthy or to run a healthcare system.
Members on both side of the aisle agree that the SGR is broken. Earlier this year, the Energy and Commerce Committee voted 51-0 on H.R. 2810, which would permanently repeal SGR and replace it with a system that promotes the highest quality of care.
While I’m disappointed that we didn’t repeal SGR permanently this year, this agreement is a step forward while we continue to work on a more complete solution. This fix is also fully offset – something that full reform will also need to achieve.
I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee and my friends on Ways & Means and Senate Finance to craft a permanent solution to SGR.