Committee on Ways and Means

Paul Ryan

Markup of: H.R. 1021, “Protecting the Integrity of Medicare Act of 2015”; H.R. 284, “Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Improvement Act of 2015”; H.R. 876, “NOTICE Act”; and H.R. 887, “Electronic Health Fairness Act of 2015.”


Ryan Opening Statement: Strengthening Medicare and Other Health Care Legislation


WASHINGTON — Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered the following opening statement during the committee markup of a series of health care bills, including the Protecting the Integrity of Medicare Act of 2015 introduced by Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Ranking Member Jim McDermott (D-WA).

"So before we get started, I wanted to say a few words. The reason we're here today is to strengthen Medicare . . . to make the program work better. That's something we all can agree on. I'm pleased that we were able to put together a series of bills in a bipartisan way.

"Take our first bill, the Protecting the Integrity of Medicare Act. The idea is pretty simple: Nonpartisan watchdogs, like GAO, have long said that Medicare is a 'high risk program' that is susceptible to fraud. And every dollar lost to fraud is a dollar lost to our seniors. So the way we see it, we have a responsibility to protect seniors and taxpayers alike.

"And we can do that by making some commonsense reforms: Take Social Security numbers off of Medicare cards. Fix common billing mistakes. Make it easier for Medicare to procure innovative contractors to process claims. And make it easier for those contractors to communicate with seniors. These are relatively modest changes. But put them all together, and you have a healthier, stronger Medicare program that works better for seniors, doctors, and taxpayers alike.

"So I'm pretty proud of this bill, and I'm proud of how we put it together. This is how the process should work. Chairman Brady, Mr. McDermott, and many of our members worked together. They shared ideas. We held hearings. There was a discussion draft. We got feedback from stakeholders and members. It was the collaborative process at its best. So I want to congratulate our members on a job well done.

"Now, we're also working on three other bills today. They also will strengthen Medicare. They also have bipartisan support. I've said that I intend for this committee to return to regular order. We're going to consider as many members' bills as we can. And that's just what we're doing today.

"The members of this committee haven't always seen eye-to-eye on health care. And that's OK. We shouldn't shy away from our differences. But when we have a chance to find common ground—to move our country forward—we shouldn't shy away from that either. That's the reason we're here today. And I want to thank all our members and staff for their hard work."


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Chairman Johnson Announces Hearing on Maintaining the Disability Insurance Trust Fund’s Solvency


Organizational Meeting of the Subcommittee on Social Security


Chairman Johnson Lays Out Principles for Disability Insurance Reform


WASHINGTON — In a Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee hearing today, Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson (R-TX) put forth a set of principles that form a commitment to addressing the Disability Insurance trust fund shortfall. Chairman Johnson will use these principles, supported by Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), to guide policy solutions this Congress. As Chairman Johnson said during his opening remarks, "This is a commonsense commitment to all Americans."

The principles form a commitment that Chairman Johnson will:
  • Ensure benefits continue to be paid to individuals with disabilities and their family members that rely on them;
  • Prevent a 20 percent across-the-board benefit cut;
  • Make the Disability Insurance program work better; and
  • Promote opportunity for those trying to return to work.

Full text of Chairman Johnson's opening remarks, as prepared for delivery, can be found below.

"Since becoming Chairman of the Social Security Subcommittee, I've held 14 hearings on the disability program, including the one today which is about maintaining the Disability Insurance Trust Fund's solvency.  

"And before continuing, I see we have many individuals from the disability community in the audience today. I would like to welcome you all and thank you for coming out today. You know better than most that this program is not without its problems. And in fact less than two years from today, the Disability Insurance program will not have enough money to pay benefits.  

"Now as a subcommittee we've looked at this program from nearly every angle. And I think it's fair to say that this program can and must work better for people with disabilities as well as for the hard working American taxpayer.  

"A few weeks ago, Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Chairman Paul Ryan met with members of the disability community, including one of our witnesses today, Mr. Phillips. I wasn't able to make the meeting but I agree strongly with what my colleagues said: We need to have a conversation—a fact-based conversation—on how to make this program work better.

"During that meeting, the idea of a commitment to you all—the disability community—came up. So as a follow-up to that meeting I want to extend my hand to you all and offer the following commitment that I ask my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me:
  • Ensuring benefits continue to be paid to individuals with disabilities and their family members that rely on them;
  • Preventing a 20 percent across-the-board benefit cut;
  • Making the Disability Insurance program work better; and
  • Promoting opportunity for those trying to return to work.

"This is a commonsense commitment to all Americans. Now, I know the devil is in the details, but I hope all my colleagues, on this subcommittee and especially the Ranking Member, can join me.

"Over the coming months, we are going to have plenty more conversations about the disability program. And as we have these conversations it is my hope that they will not be hijacked by political point scoring. The American people expect us to work together.  

"Today we are going to hear from our witnesses about the options to make sure benefits continue to be paid. They will discuss how Congress has addressed Social Security's finances in the past and how Social Security’s finances then compare to today.

"Many people have said that we've reallocated the payroll tax 11 times. While it is true Congress has shifted the payroll taxes between the two Social Security trust funds, it has happened only 6 times. Moreover Congress has also typically made changes to improve Social Security.  

"Recently, Acting Commissioner Colvin argued for more research into the disability program before making any changes. Well, guess what? That was the same argument in 1994 as well, the last time a reallocation took place.  

"Now some like to say that the President's proposal to reallocate some of the payroll tax that goes for the retirement programs towards to the disability program is no big deal.

"Well I would argue it is a big deal. The Administration just wants to kick the can down the road and offers no ideas on how to make the program work better. That’s not right.  Americans who have paid into Social Security and are currently receiving benefits as well as today’s younger workers deserve better.  

"This Congress should and must act to make sure that Disability Insurance benefits continue to be paid in 2016 and beyond to those who rely on them. And in doing so we should make this program work better for those who depend on it.  

"I thank our witnesses for being here today and look forward to hearing your testimony." 


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House Passes Bill to Strengthen 529 College-Savings Plans


WASHINGTON — Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 529, bipartisan legislation introduced by Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Ron Kind (D-WI) that would expand, modernize, and strengthen tax-free 529 college-savings plans. Upon passage, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement.

“For many American families, finding a way to pay for college is a mounting challenge. 529s are a great way to save for an education, and we should strengthen these important tools, not tax them away. This bill will make it easier for families to use these accounts and give them a greater sense of control over their future. On both policy and principle, this bill gets it right, and I want to thank Congresswoman Jenkins for her work on this issue.”


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Brady and McDermott Introduce Bill to Prevent Medicare Fraud


WASHINGTON — Today, Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Ranking Member Jim McDermott (D-WA) introduced H.R. 1021, the Protecting the Integrity of Medicare Act (PIMA) of 2015. The bill would prevent fraud in Medicare by making a number of commonsense reforms such as removing Social Security numbers from Medicare cards and eliminating unnecessary paperwork for employers. PIMA incorporates a number of ideas from legislation previously introduced by committee members from both parties.

In introducing the legislation, Chairman Brady said:

"We have all heard stories and read the news regarding fraud, waste, and abuse in the Medicare program. Seniors are either personally harmed or negatively affected by the rising costs in health care due to these all-too-common activities. I am pleased to re-introduce the Protecting the Integrity of Medicare Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation that will reduce fraud, waste, and abuse within Medicare. By increasing education, transparency, and communication between Medicare's payers and the providers that treat our seniors, in addition to commonsense proposals such as removing Social Security numbers from Medicare cards, the members of this subcommittee are tackling these issues head on. Our seniors deserve better, and I am proud to re-introduce this bill with my friend and colleague on the Ways and Means Committee, Dr. McDermott."

In introducing the legislation, Ranking Member McDermott said:

"I thank Chairman Brady for working collaboratively on the Protecting the Integrity of Medicare Act. This bill combines a number of bipartisan proposals that make positive changes to our program integrity laws. Moving forward, the American people deserve additional reforms that modernize outdated laws and advance the ball further in the fight against wrongdoers who engage in fraud, waste, and abuse. I intend to continue working with my colleagues in the Congress to improve and strengthen the integrity of our federal health programs."

PIMA would take a number of steps to protect seniors and the Medicare program:

  • Remove Social Security numbers from Medicare beneficiary cards. This provision is based on legislation introduced by Rep. Sam Johnson and Rep. Lloyd Doggett in each of the last three Congresses. (H.R. 380)

  • Increase outreach and education for providers by Medicare contractors and other program integrity efforts in the PRIME Act, legislation sponsored by Rep. Peter Roskam and Rep. Earl Blumenauer. (H.R. 818)

  • Expand who can document the face-to-face encounter required for Medicare durable medical equipment prescriptions to include nurse practitioners and physician assistants, as allowed by state law. This provision is based on legislation introduced previously by Rep. Jim McDermott.

  • Provide existing beneficiaries the option to receive a Medicare summary notice (MSN) electronically beginning in 2015 and Medicare Administrative Contractor efficiency measures in accordance with a bill introduced by Rep. Jim Renacci and by Rep. Bill Pascrell. (H.R. 289)

  • Require that the HHS Secretary issue guidance on the application of the “Common Rule,” which provides protection for individuals involved in research by incorporating legislation introduced by Rep. Bill Pascrell and Rep. Charles Boustany. (H.R. 965)

  • Require the HHS Secretary to issue a report describing how a permanent physician-hospital gainsharing program can best be established based on policy advocated by Rep. Charles Boustany.

  • Require changes to gainsharing restrictions to apply only to medically necessary services, allowing for the elimination of wasteful activity as previously introduced by Rep. Jim McDermott.

  • Instruct the HHS Secretary to require each home health agency to obtain a surety bond in the amount of no less than $50,000 as a condition of participation in the Medicare program based on a bill previously introduced by Rep. Jim McDermott.

  • Repeal a duplicative provision in statute causing unnecessary paperwork and burdens on employers based on a bill introduced by Rep. John Lewis and Rep. Dave Reichert. (H.R. 943)

A section-by-section of the bill can be viewed here.


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Lynn Jenkins Op-Ed: Time to boost—not tax—college-saving plans


CNBC op-ed

Since 1995, America has fallen from first to nineteenth in college graduation rate and educational mobility among countries studied by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Throughout the twenty eight countries examined in the study, about half the children at least matched the level of their parents' education.

Unfortunately, a larger than average percentage of children in the United States has less education than their parents. This is a startling statistic as Americans look to compete for jobs in a competitive global economy. Research shows that the higher the educational mobility, the greater the cohesiveness of a country. As a nation, we cannot afford to continue to fall behind other countries and expect our children to have the bright future we all dream they achieve. As a mother with two kids currently enrolled in college, that is not a result I am prepared to accept.

As America falls behind in graduation rates, it is also becoming increasingly exorbitant for parents to afford higher education. From 2003 through 2013, the College Board reported that college tuition prices had increased close to a whopping eighty percent. Student loan debt across the country now stands at an astronomical $1.2 trillion – a number which is higher than the combined GDPs of Australia, New Zealand and Ireland, and exceeds the combined credit card debt in America.

Studies have demonstrated how the existence of any sort of college savings account substantially increases the chances of a child attending college. As little as $500 in a savings plan sees children three times as likely to enroll, and four times as likely to graduate from college. Therefore, a sensible solution must be making saving for higher education more attainable for any American.

529 college savings plans enable families to start saving for their children from the minute they're born. Contributions can be as little as $10 and can be withdrawn tax-free to pay for a whole array of college costs – including room and board. Since it became tax-free to withdraw 529 funds in 2001, 1 million accounts have turned into 12 million. These plans provide a concrete and practical way for hardworking Americans to help send their children to the higher education institution of their choice.

Recently, President Obama introduced a proposal in his budget to begin taxing withdrawals from 529 college savings plans. This would have rendered these plans virtually useless. After a public outcry from both parties, the administration admitted that it wasn't worth the political fight. Although they still refuse to accept that taxing families saving for college is bad public policy, they say they intend to remove that proposal from the budget.

529 college savings plans are an essential tool for today's parents working tirelessly so their children can get a higher education. That's why I introduced my bill, H.R. 529 — that has garnered strong bipartisan support — to expand, strengthen, and improve these plans. Essentially, if they are easier to use, more people will use them. This legislation would modernize these accounts by making computers a covered expense, which we all know is a necessary item for any 21st century college student. Going further, the legislation would expand 529s to allow any refunds to be redeposited tax-free and also updates the tax code to eliminate unnecessary and cumbersome paperwork.

Employment is harder to come by in this new transnational jobs market and anything as sensible and straightforward as reinforcing and reinvigorating 529 plans is a measure that should receive universal bipartisan support.

This sort of commonsense solution is an obvious step to help hardworking families send their children to college, whether that is a four-year college, community college, or technical school. If we intend to help America climb back to the top of the ladder for college graduates across the globe, 529 college savings plans are the perfect vehicle to ensure that future generations receive the education they need to contend for the jobs they deserve. Strengthening 529s will only make America's economy healthier and more competitive in an ever-changing marketplace.

Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) is the vice chair of the House Republican Conference and a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Chairman Roskam Demands Answers on Inaccurate Tax Data Sent by HHS


WASHINGTON — Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) sent a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner demanding answers as to why the organization sent 800,000 people incorrect information about their 2014 Obamacare subsidies.  
  • Who was responsible for reviewing and testing the forms to ensure their accuracy?  What review or testing process is in place to ensure the forms’ accuracy?

  • How can taxpayers determine whether a Form 1095-A they received from the federal marketplace contains errors?

  • What recourse is available for individuals who have already filed a tax return based on faulty information provided by the government?  Will they be required to file again or take some other action?  If yes, what is the estimated extra time burden imposed on taxpayers to remedy this mistake?

  • It was reported that taxpayers who have yet to file their returns have been asked to wait until corrected forms are mailed to them, is this accurate?  To the extent these taxpayers are owed a tax refund, will these refunds likewise be delayed? 

This failure demonstrates the complications that Obamacare adds to tax filing season. As a result of receiving flawed tax information from HHS, these taxpayers will likely experience challenges and delays in filing their annual tax returns. Chairman Roskam requested that HHS respond no later than March 6, 2015.


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Chairman Johnson Announces Hearing on Maintaining the Disability Insurance Trust Fund’s Solvency


U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security announced today that the Subcommittee will hold a hearing focused on the financial status of the Disability Insurance (DI) and Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Funds, and the available legislative options to ensure full DI benefits continue to be paid. The hearing will take place on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 in B-318 Rayburn House Office Building, beginning at 2:00 p.m.
Upon the announcement, Chairman Johnson made the following comment:

“In less than two years, the Disability Insurance program will be unable to pay the benefits on which millions of Americans and their families rely.  I am fully committed to ensuring the Disability Insurance program is there for those who truly need it.  This hearing will seek to start the much-needed conversation on responsibly addressing the looming insolvency of the Disability Insurance program.” 

A list of witnesses will follow. Oral testimony at this hearing will be from invited witnesses only. However, any individual or organization may submit a written statement for consideration by the Committee and for inclusion in the printed record of the hearing.


Please Note: Any person(s) and/or organization(s) wishing to submit for the hearing record must follow the appropriate link on the hearing page of the Committee website and complete the informational forms. From the Committee homepage,, select “Hearings.”  Select the hearing for which you would like to submit, and click on the link entitled, “Click here to provide a submission for the record.”  Once you have followed the online instructions, submit all requested information. ATTACH your submission as a Word document, in compliance with the formatting requirements listed below, by the close of business on Wednesday, March 11, 2015.  For questions, or if you encounter technical problems, please call (202) 225-3625 or (202) 225-2610.


The Committee relies on electronic submissions for printing the official hearing record. As always, submissions will be included in the record according to the discretion of the Committee. The Committee will not alter the content of your submission, but we reserve the right to format it according to our guidelines. Any submission provided to the Committee by a witness, any materials submitted for the printed record, and any written comments in response to a request for written comments must conform to the guidelines listed below. Any submission not in compliance with these guidelines will not be printed, but will be maintained in the Committee files for review and use by the Committee.

1. All submissions and supplementary materials must be submitted in a single document via email, provided in Word format and must not exceed a total of 10 pages.  Witnesses and submitters are advised that the Committee relies on electronic submissions for printing the official hearing record.

2. All submissions must include a list of all clients, persons and/or organizations on whose behalf the witness appears. The name, company, address, telephone, and fax numbers of each witness must be included in the body of the email.  Please exclude any personal identifiable information in the attached submission.

3.  Failure to follow the formatting requirements may result in the exclusion of a submission.  All submissions for the record are final.

The Committee seeks to make its facilities accessible to persons with disabilities. If you are in need of special accommodations, please call 202-225-1721 or 202-226-3411 TTD/TTY in advance of the event (four business days notice is requested). Questions with regard to special accommodation needs in general (including availability of Committee materials in alternative formats) may be directed to the Committee as noted above.

Note: All Committee advisories and news releases are available on the World Wide Web at

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Chairman Ryan, to Advance Trade Agenda, Leads Congressional Delegation to Asia


WASHINGTON — This afternoon, a bipartisan delegation from the U.S. House of Representatives left Washington for a week-long visit to three Asian nations participating in ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. The eight-member delegation will meet with senior government officials and American and local business leaders in an effort to advance the U.S. trade agenda and strengthen ties with these countries. More information about the trip will be released throughout the week. Upon departure, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement:

"Our economy, our national security, and our very standing in the world are all tied to our trade agenda. Other countries are trying to reshape the state of play in Asia, and so we have to stay engaged. Our trading partners need to know that the United States is serious about advancing its trade priorities and strengthening our ties in the region. They also need to know that we will not accept just any agreement. We will accept only one that truly breaks down barriers for American exporters. I look forward to talking more about expanding economic cooperation with our friends in Asia."

Other members of the delegation are Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH), Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA), Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), and Rep. Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE).


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House Passes Bill to Bring Tax Certainty to Small Businesses


WASHINGTON — Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 636, America's Small Business Tax Relief Act, legislation introduced by Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) that will make permanent important tax policies that will give small businesses the certainty they need to grow. Upon passage, Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement.

"Small businesses need more certainty to grow, and this bill will help them plan for the future. We still have a long way to go, but I see this as a down payment on a simpler, flatter, fairer tax code. That's what we need to build a healthy economy and create jobs. And so I want to thank my colleagues for supporting this commonsense idea."


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Markup of: Committee on Ways and Means Views and Estimates on the Fiscal Year 2016 Federal Budget; H.R. 529, A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to improve 529 plans; H.R. 622, A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make permanent the deduction of State and local general sales taxes; H.R. 880, A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to simplify and make permanent the research credit.


Ryan Opening Statement: Strengthening 529 College Savings Plans and Making Permanent Important Tax Provisions


WASHINGTON — Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered the following opening statement during the committee markup of a series of bills to strengthen 529 college savings plans and make permanent important tax provisions.

"So, we're working on three bills today. And the point of all three is to make people's lives easier. It's to give them more certainty about the future. All three deal with the tax code. There's the state and local sales-tax deduction, and there's the R&D credit. We'd make both of these permanent. That would let businesses and families plan for the future—without any fear of expirations or extensions or what have you.
"But I want to single out one bill for special attention. And that's the one offered by Congresswoman Jenkins. This bill would expand the use of 529 college savings plans. These are great tools families use to save for college. They reward people for investing in our kids' future. And they deserve our full support.
"Now, what this bill would do is bring the law up to date with reality. We'd let families use their plans to pay for equipment like computers and software. These things aren't nice-to-haves anymore; they're must-haves. And we'd give families more flexibility to deal with things like college refunds and account withdrawals. The point of all this, as I said, is to give people more control over the future.
"And I have to admit: I was dismayed when the President proposed we tax these plans. I know the President dropped his proposal. But it's not just the policy that's the problem; it's the principle. He wanted to tax these plans so he could create another government program. He wanted to make saving for college more expensive. We want to strengthen and expand these important tools so that a college education is closer in reach for American families.
"So I want to thank Congresswoman Jenkins and Congressman Brady for their work on these bills. And I want to thank all of our members for all their hard work. Thank you."


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Chairman Boustany Announces First Hearing in Series on Moving America’s Families Forward


Organizational Meeting of the Subcommittee on Human Resources


Chairman Roskam Announces Hearing on Protecting Small Businesses from IRS Abuse


Organizational Meeting of the Subcommittee on Oversight


Markup of: H.R. 644, A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to permanently extend and expand the charitable deduction for contributions of food inventory; H.R. 637, A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make permanent the rule allowing certain tax-free distributions from individual retirement accounts for charitable purposes; H.R. 641, Conservation Easement Incentive Act of 2015; H.R. 640, A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the tax rate for excise tax on investment income of private foundations; H.R. 636, America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015; H.R. 629, A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make permanent the reduced recognition period for built-in gains of S corporations; H.R. 630, A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make permanent certain rules regarding basis adjustments to stock of S corporations making charitable contributions of property.


Hearing on the President’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Proposal with U.S. Department of the Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew


There is no media available for this committee.

Contact Information

1102 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-3625
Fax 202-225-5680


Diane Black


Charles Boustany


Kevin Brady


Vern Buchanan


George Holding


Lynn Jenkins


Sam Johnson


Mike Kelly


Kenny Marchant


Patrick Meehan


Kristi Noem


Devin Nunes


Erik Paulsen


Tom Price


Tom Reed


Dave Reichert


Jim Renacci


Peter Roskam


Paul Ryan


Aaron Schock


Adrian Smith


Jason Smith


Pat Tiberi


Todd Young