Committee on Ways and Means

Paul Ryan

Brady Applauds Passage of Medicare Payment Fix

2015/03/26

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives today voted to permanently fix the broken Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. The bipartisan plan fixes the long-standing problem of how doctors get paid for treating the 53 million Americans who depend on Medicare.

“Congress has averted a continuation of a national health-care crisis,” said Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), who voted in favor of the legislation. “Doctors can now worry about patients instead of payments.”

The vote produces a clean slate on which Congress can begin its efforts to institute much-needed Medicare reform to save the program. It creates a more patient-centered system that will provide significant savings over the long term and offers a good first step toward keeping the promises made to our seniors. In addition, the package combats waste, fraud, and abuse in our Medicare program with the inclusion of the Protecting the Integrity of Medicare Act (PIMA)all without increasing taxes.

Brady added, “Fixing SGR has been a shared goal for many years, and today we have provided the Senate and White House with the best opportunity to write a new chapter in the history of the American health-care system which focuses on creating stability for those most in need.”

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Ryan Commends House Passage of Reforms to Strengthen Medicare

2015/03/26

WASHINGTON — Upon passage of H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement:

"This is a firm step toward patient-centered health care. After years of manufactured crises, this bill will give doctors the certainty they need and seniors the security they deserve. We have a lot more work to do to save Medicare, but this plan will strengthen the program. It will put our focus on the long-term reforms we need. And I'm happy to support it."

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Markup of: H.R. 1058, “Taxpayer Bill of Rights Act of 2015”; H.R. 1152, “To prohibit officers and employees of the Internal Revenue Service from using personal email accounts to conduct official business"; H.R. 1026, “Taxpayer Knowledge of IRS Investigations Act”; H.R. 1314, “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for a right to an administrative appeal relating to adverse determinations of tax-exempt status of certain organizations”;H.R. 1295, “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to improve the process for making determinations with respect to whether organizations are exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(4) of such Code”; H.R. 709, “Prevent Targeting at the IRS Act”; H.R. 1104, “Fair Treatment for All Donations.; and H.R. 1105, “Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015.”

2015/03/25

Chairman Ryan has scheduled a Meeting of the Committee on Ways and Means to be held in 1334 Longworth House Office Building on Wednesday, March 25, 2015, at 1:30 PM. 

Markup Of:
Additional Markup Materials:
Markup Results:

H.R. 1058 was ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives as amended by voice vote (with a quorum being present).

H.R. 1152 was ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives as amended by voice vote (with a quorum being present).

H.R. 1026 was ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives as amended by voice vote (with a quorum being present).

H.R. 1314 was ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives as amended by voice vote (with a quorum being present).

Amendment by Mr. Holding to the amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 1295, which would require that any fees collected pursuant to the bill be subject to appropriations.

The vote on the amendment by Mr. Holding to the amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 1295, which would require that any fees collected pursuant to the bill be subject to appropriations, was agreed to by voice vote (with a quorum being present)

Amendment by Mr. McDermott to the amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 1295, which would require 501(c)(4) organizations to indicate whether they plan to engage in certain political activity.

The vote on the amendment by Mr. McDermott to the amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 1295, which would require 501(c)(4) organizations to indicate whether they plan to engage in certain political activity, was not agreed to by a roll call vote of 20 nays to 11 yeas (with a quorum being present). 

H.R. 1295 was ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives as amended by voice vote (with a quorum being present).

H.R. 709 was ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives as amended by voice vote (with a quorum being present).

H.R. 1104 was ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives as amended by voice vote (with a quorum being present).

The bill, H.R 1105, was ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives as amended by a roll call vote of 22 yeas to 10 nays (with a quorum being present). 


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Paul Ryan Op-Ed: A Chance to Strengthen Medicare

2015/03/25

Washington Examiner op-ed
 

Medicare is going broke, but this week we have a chance to start fixing it. And we can do it—with bipartisan support—by repealing a clumsy payment system that has threatened seniors' access to care and vexed Congress for nearly two decades.

Here's the problem: In 1997, Congress tried to put a lid on Medicare's costs by capping doctor payments with a formula called the "sustainable growth rate." Under the law, if Medicare spent more than the cap in one year, it would have to compensate by cutting doctor payments in the next.

But this quick fix was no fix at all. Costs continued to soar as doctors performed more treatments to make up for the pay cuts. And when the threat of automatic cuts loomed, Congress simply postponed them—17 times. Meanwhile, doctors took time away from patients just to keep watch on Congress.

Thanks to this flawed law, Medicare is scheduled to cut doctor reimbursements by over 20 percent, starting next month. That means a lot of doctors may have to turn away seniors.

So my colleagues and I have come up with a bipartisan plan to replace these arbitrary cuts with real reforms. Our plan would strengthen Medicare by encouraging better care and rewarding doctors for better results.

Right now, Medicare pays doctors for every single treatment they perform—with no regard for the patient's overall health. It rewards quantity, not quality, of care. And 10,000 baby boomers are joining Medicare every day, so costs are growing out of control.

Our plan would start to move us to a patient-centered system. We would cancel the cuts and instead give doctors a modest increase for the next five years. Every year after, doctor payments would grow to depend more and more on results. Our plan would set up one streamlined program that would reward doctors who met performance goals and improved seniors' health. Over time, Medicare would reward quality over quantity, and seniors would get better care because of it.

This reform would be a firm step in the right direction. Our plan would also achieve savings by making two other structural reforms.

First, we'd ask the wealthy to contribute more to their care—something we have called for in the House Republican budget for years. Starting in 2018, seniors who make more than $133,000 a year would pay a higher premium for their doctor and prescription-drug coverage.

Second, our plan would discourage unnecessary doctor visits and give seniors an incentive to seek the most effective care. Many seniors have "Medigap" insurance—that is, a private plan that helps pay for costs Medicare doesn't cover, like co-payments and deductibles. These plans insulate people from costs and, experts believe, encourage the overuse of healthcare. Beginning in 2020, this agreement would prohibit Medigap plans from covering the first $147 of out-of-pocket spending, so cost is once again a consideration in healthcare decisions.

The truth is, the real threat to Medicare is in the long term. That's why we need these structural reforms. Together, they would provide big savings to taxpayers that would grow even bigger over the long term.

Our plan would give doctors the certainty they need. It would give seniors the security they deserve. And above all, it would be a firm step toward a patient-centered healthcare system.

Paul Ryan represents Wisconsin's first Congressional District and serves as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Ryan Praises House GOP Budget

2015/03/25

WASHINGTON — Upon passage of the House Republican budget for fiscal year 2016, Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement:

"This is a budget to be proud of. Our plan would balance the budget in eight years, help create jobs, and strengthen our national security—all without raising taxes. We also call for Congress to fix our tax code by making it simpler, flatter, and fairer. And this committee is ready to get to work. This budget lays the groundwork for an opportunity economy, and this committee is going to build on that work."

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Ryan Opening Statement: Markup of Bills to Reform the IRS and Repeal the Death Tax

2015/03/25

WASHINGTON — Today, Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered the following opening statement during a markup of bills to reform the IRS and repeal the death tax.

"So, we're marking up a lot of bills today. But the point we're trying to make here is this: The IRS works for the taxpayer, not the other way around. It's their job to make doing your taxes as easy as possible. And so the burden is on them to prove any wrongdoing. The burden is on them to protect people's privacy. And the burden is on them to tell taxpayers their rights. That's the attitude they should have.

"But that's definitely not the attitude they have today. If our investigations have shown us anything, it's that bureaucracies don't do what's efficient. They do what's convenient—at least, what's convenient for them.

"Well, principles aren't always convenient. And what we have here is a matter of principle. So we're going to insist that the IRS do their job—the right way.

"Now, these reforms are simply common sense. All we're saying are things like, 'Don't target people because of their political beliefs. Don't tax donations to tax-exempt groups. Don't send taxpayer information to your private email.' Pretty simple stuff.

"And there's another thing we've learned. And that is, this kind of mischief grows in the shade. We found out about this stuff because we dug deep. The only way to hold big bureaucracies accountable is through rigorous, effective oversight.

"But the thought I want to close with is this: All the confusion, all the unfairness and frustration—all this comes from the fact that our tax code is a mess. It's way too complicated. It punishes people for working, saving, investing—all the things we need to build a healthy economy. Sometimes it even punishes people from beyond the grave.

"That's why today we're here to repeal the death tax. People work hard and pay taxes all their lives. They've earned the right to leave something for their kids—often a family business—without being penalized for it. And this tax doesn't just hit the big guy. It hits the little guy—like the small business and the family farm. It is both unwise and unfair, and it needs to go.

"In fact, we need to replace our whole tax code. We need to make it simpler, flatter, and fairer. That would create more opportunity in our country. And it would build a healthier economy for all. So I'm glad we're taking a step in that direction today. And I'm glad we're putting hardworking taxpayers and their concerns front and center."

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Chairman Roskam Announces Hearing on the Use of Data to Stop Medicare Fraud

2015/03/24

House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) today announced that the Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight will hold a hearing on the federal government’s use of data analysis—particularly the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Fraud Prevention System (FPS)—to identify emerging trends, and stop Medicare fraud.  This hearing will allow the Committee to hear from both government and non-governmental witnesses on the progress that the FPS has made and what continued efforts are under way to use data analysis in identifying and stopping fraud and waste within Medicare. The hearing will take place on Tuesday, March 24 at 10:00 AM in Room B-318 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Witness List

PANEL 1:

Dr. Shantanu Agrawal
Deputy Administrator and Director, Center for Program Integrity, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Testimony

Mr. Gary Cantrell
Deputy Inspector General for Investigations, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Testimony

PANEL 2:

Ms. Charlene Frizzera
President and CEO, CF Health Advisors
Testimony

Mr. Kirk Ogrosky
Partner, Arnold & Porter LLP
Testimony

Mr. Mark Nelsen
Senior VP for Risk Products and Business Intelligence, Visa Inc.
Testimony

Mr. Louis Saccoccio
Executive Director, National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association 
Testimony

Public Submissions For Record
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Roskam Opening Statement: The Use of Data to Stop Medicare Fraud

2015/03/24

WASHINGTON — Today, Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) delivered the following opening statement during a hearing on the federal government’s use of data analysis—particularly the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Fraud Prevention System (FPS)—to identify emerging trends and stop Medicare fraud.

"Welcome, everyone, to our second hearing. The reason we're here today is to strengthen one of the most important federal programs, Medicare, which provides necessary healthcare services to millions of our nation's seniors. Every year, Medicare loses billions of taxpayer dollars through fraud and improper payments. And today we're going to find out what the administration is doing to stop it.

"When we first constituted this subcommittee at the beginning of the Congress, the ranking member and I talked about our shared goal of working together, establishing the facts, and making government work better for all Americans. Today I have the unique privilege of holding a hearing on a topic I know my friend Mr. Lewis has worked on for many years, including holding hearings and producing legislation as the chairman of this very subcommittee.

"I know I'm speaking for all of us when I say that we are extremely concerned about Medicare fraud. It remains a serious, evolving threat. There are billions of dollars at stake. And there continues to be a lot more work to be done to get ahead of the criminals and get it under control. So today's hearing is a continuation of the significant work that these members and the Congress have done in the past, and we're going to be taking a look at the administration's current efforts and ways we can improve Medicare payment integrity.

"To begin, I want to emphasize just how big of a problem this is. Last year, the federal government lost $124.7 billion dollars in improper payments across 124 programs. Of that $124 billion, one program accounted for $60 billion—or nearly half of the losses: Medicare. Because the program is so large and susceptible to abuse, the Government Accountability Office has singled it out as a high risk for fraud every year since they started keeping track in 1990. 

"Historically, CMS has used a method called 'pay and chase' in processing Medicare payments, first paying for a charge, and then later looking back to check on the validity of the transaction and potentially trying to claw back the money if the payment was made improperly. As you can imagine, that strategy isn't very effective. Time and again we have seen fraudsters bilk the system for a few million dollars, shut down, and pop up under a new name to run their scams all over again. The Medicare program is getting outsmarted by these methods and the proof is in the unacceptably high rate of improper payments each year.

"In 2010, I proposed a new approach to help CMS work smarter. Instead of 'pay and chase,' CMS should use the same kind of cutting-edge predictive analytics technology that private companies use successfully to look at transaction data in real time and identify potentially fraudulent charges—stopping the payment before the money goes out the door. Credit cards use a similar system to identify a potentially fraudulent charge and stop payment while they further investigate the claim. The framework of that idea was later enacted as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.

"The system created by CMS to incorporate data analytics to protect Medicare is called the Fraud Prevention System, or FPS. In its first year, FPS got off to a rocky start—the Health and Human Services Inspector General could not even certify any of the system's results. In its second year, ending in July 2013, the Inspector General certified that the system had returned one dollar and thirty-four cents for each dollar invested that year, totaling about $54.2 million in savings. 

"Now $54.2 million dollars is a lot of money, but it is quite literally a drop in the bucket when compared to the $60 billion that Medicare programs lost last year. As it currently operates, FPS is catching less than 1 percent of improper payments. And I should add that disappointingly, CMS is still primarily relying on the pay-and-chase model to go after money that has already been paid out improperly, rather than stopping improper payments on the front end. 

"I continue to think that the idea behind FPS is sound, but taxpayers are entitled to see that idea implemented with excellence. Each dollar we fail to secure from fraud and improper payment is a dollar that isn't going to needed healthcare services for our seniors. And when we look around at what private companies are doing to protect the integrity of their transactions, it's clear that so far, FPS is leaving a lot on the table. 

"For the first panel, this subcommittee wants to hear directly from CMS and the Office of the Inspector General about how they are using FPS and other data sources to identify emerging trends in Medicare fraud. And we want to know how CMS and OIG are coordinating their efforts with the Department of Justice to share data and prosecute Medicare fraudsters. I'll note here that regrettably, we invited the Department of Justice to testify about these issues today, but they were unable to provide a witness.

"On the second panel, we'll hear from two witnesses who previously served in the administration at DOJ and CMS, respectively, to get their insights about the government's performance on these issues. Another witness will tell us about how CMS and DOJ are collaborating with the private sector to address fraud issues affecting both Medicare and private insurers. And finally we'll hear about how Visa, a private-sector company, has used predictive analytics to stop fraud. Visa's global rate of fraud is 6 basis points—meaning 99.4 percent of the $10 trillion dollars in payments it processes globally are fraud-free. That's quite an impressive track record, and one we hope to learn a thing or two from.

"We look forward to hearing from all of our witnesses and thank them for their consideration in appearing today."

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Bipartisan Committee Leaders Post SGR Package to be Considered This Week

2015/03/24

WASHINGTON — Bipartisan leaders of the House Energy and Commerce and House Ways and Means Committees today introduced H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, to permanently replace Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). The agreement builds upon H.R. 1470, the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act, bipartisan, bicameral legislation to replace the SGR formula with a stable payment system that promotes higher quality care for seniors. The bipartisan committee leaders on Friday released a working framework of these additional proposals, some of which will help to offset the costs of this package. Read the complete bill online here. Read a section by section online here.

"Many of us have worked for a long time to repeal this flawed formula and replace it with a more patient-centered system. Now we have a chance to get it done," said Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). "This package is the best opportunity to turn the page on years of short-term fixes so that we can finally make the reforms we need to strengthen Medicare for our seniors. This is real patient-centered reform—done in a bipartisan way—and I urge all of my colleagues to support it." 

"This legislation provides a real opportunity to create stability for seniors and doctors by doing away with the flawed SGR system and replacing it with one that rewards quality and innovation," said Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI). "Resulting from bipartisan negotiations, this package combines the end of SGR once and for all with important extensions of the Children’s Health Insurance Program and other critical health provisions, including funding for community health centers."

"We can see the light at the end of the SGR tunnel—finally. Our bipartisan product begins the task of strengthening Medicare over the long term," said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R–MI). "This responsible legislative package reflects years of bipartisan work, is a good deal for seniors, and a good deal for children too. It’s time to put a stop once and for all to the repeated SGR crises and start to put Medicare on a stronger path forward for our seniors."

"Finally, after a decade of trying, we have a bipartisan bill that will permanently repeal the flawed SGR and move Medicare to a health care system based on quality and efficiency, that is good for seniors and doctors alike," said Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ). "As with any bipartisan effort, this legislation reflects give and take on both sides. However, we have come to a balanced compromise that will end uncertainty in the system, extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), fund Community Health Centers, and make permanent the Qualifying Individual (QI) program that helps low income seniors pay their Medicare premiums."

The House is expected to consider this legislation this week.

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House Leaders Release Working Summary Outlining Framework of Bipartisan SGR Agreement

2015/03/20

WASHINGTON — Today bipartisan leaders from the House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees released a working summary outlining the broader framework of an agreement being negotiated to permanently replace the broken Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula with a system that rewards quality, efficiency, and innovation. Committee leaders continue to make progress negotiating a comprehensive agreement that would further strengthen Medicare, extend vital health provisions, and extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program. This broader agreement builds upon the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act, H.R. 1470—legislation reintroduced yesterday in the House along with a companion in the Senate.

Click here to see a working summary of the SGR package.

Find a one-page summary of H.R. 1470 here and a section-by-section here.

“This framework would be an important first step to saving Medicare for our seniors,” said Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). “These reforms would strengthen Medicare over the long term and move us toward a more patient-centered system."

“We have an important opportunity to do away with the flawed SGR once and for all and create more stability for seniors and doctors by putting Medicare and the way we pay physicians within the program on a firmer footing,” said Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI). “It is also vital that we extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program and other critical health provisions, including funding for community health centers. I’m optimistic that we will soon reach a comprehensive bipartisan agreement long in the making.”

“This bipartisan agreement puts us on the road to real reforms to strengthen Medicare for our seniors and puts the broken Sustainable Growth Rate in the rearview mirror forever,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “The SGR has generated repeated crises for nearly two decades. We have a historic opportunity to finally move to a system that promotes quality over quantity and begins the important work of addressing Medicare’s structural issues. This deal is good for seniors; it’s good for children. Let’s get this done.”

“I am encouraged by the progress we are making to fix the SGR once and for all and end this vicious cycle of kicking the can down the road,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ). “I am pleased that this bipartisan package, which strengthens Medicare for seniors and doctors alike, also extends critical programs such as CHIP and Community Health Center funding, and includes important permanent protections for low-income seniors and families.”

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Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committee Members Urge Administration to #KeepThePromise to Seniors

2015/03/19

WASHINGTON — Members of the House Energy and Commerce and House Ways and Means Health Subcommittees today sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Acting Administrator urging the administration to reverse course on its proposed changes to the popular and successful Medicare Advantage (MA) program. This letter echoes similar concerns outlined by bicameral Republican committee leaders in a letter sent to President Obama last month.

The members write, “The cumulative effects of the administration’s policies relating to the MA program have resulted in a roughly 10 percent cut to the program over the past several years. A recent report from Oliver Wyman suggests that the cuts and policies from the Call Letters between 2014 and 2015 cost beneficiaries, on average, an additional $60 to $140 per month. Additionally, according to CMS data, beneficiaries had their choices of MA plans reduced during this period.”

The members are urging the administration to reverse course on proposed policy changes that would only exacerbate these issues. They write, “We worry that more and more seniors will be unable to choose a MA plan, while millions more could face reduced benefits and higher costs. We are particularly concerned with the agency’s regulatory policies with respect to risk adjustment, STARS measures, and coding adjustments.”

The letter was signed by: Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), Energy and Commerce full committee Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Energy and Commerce full committee Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX), Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), Rep. Charles Boustany, Jr., M.D. (R-LA), Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Rep. Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN), Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC), Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Rep. Greg Harper (R-MS), Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), Rep. Billy Long (R-MO), Rep. David McKinley (R-WV), Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD), Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX), Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Rep. David Reichert (R-WA), Rep. James Renacci (R-OH), Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL), Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE), Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH), Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), and Rep. Todd Young (R-IN).

Read the complete letter online here.

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Senate, House Leaders Introduce SGR Replacement Bill

2015/03/19

WASHINGTON — Today, leaders in the Senate and House introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to replace the broken Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula with an improved payment system that rewards quality, efficiency, and innovation. The bipartisan, bicameral bill seeks to end the cycle of annual ‘Doc Fix’ crises that have created uncertainty for millions of Medicare providers and beneficiaries for over a decade and also create a system that promotes higher quality care for America’s seniors. The House and Senate Committees continue to work toward an agreement to put this plan into place as well as make reforms to strengthen Medicare and extend vital health provisions and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

The legislation—nearly identical to bills introduced in the House and Senate last year—was introduced by Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI), House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Jim McDermott (D-WA), and Rep. Charles Boustany, Jr., M.D. (R-LA).

This proposal will:

  • Repeal the SGR and end the annual threat to seniors’ care, while instituting a 0.5% payment update each year for five years.

  • Improve the fee-for-service system by streamlining Medicare’s existing web of quality programs into one value-based performance program. It increases payment accuracy and encourages physicians to adopt proven practices.

  • Incentivize the use of alternative payment models to encourage doctors and providers to focus more on coordination and prevention to improve quality and reduce costs.

  • Make Medicare more transparent by giving patients more access to information and supplying doctors with data they can use to improve care.

The SGR formula—the mechanism that ties physician payment updates to the relationship between overall fee schedule spending and growth in gross domestic product (GDP)—is fundamentally broken. The flawed formula has led to 17 short-term patches enacted by Congress to prevent significant Medicare reimbursement rate cuts over the past decade. This bipartisan policy agreement is an important milestone in finally resolving the flawed SGR formula, providing certainty for seniors and their physicians, and creating a system that promotes the highest quality of care.

A section by section of the bill can be found here.

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*UPDATE: NEW LOCATION* Chairman Reichert Announces Hearing on the Burden of the Estate Tax on Family Businesses and Farms

2015/03/18

*UPDATE: NEW LOCATION*
All other details remain unchanged


Congressman David Reichert (R-WA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, today announced that the Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the burdens family businesses and farms face planning for and paying the estate tax. The hearing will take place immediately following a brief Subcommittee organizational meeting on Wednesday, March 18, 2015, in Room 1310 Longworth House Office Building, beginning at 10:00 A.M. 

Hearing Advisory

Witness List

Mr. Brandon Whitt
Batey Farms
Testimony

Mr. Robert E. McKnight
McKnight Ranch Co.
Testimony

Ms. Karen Madonia
Chief Financial Officer, Illco, Inc
Testimony
 
Ms. Ray Madoff
Professor, Boston College Law School
Testimony

Public Submissions For Record

Please click here to submit a statement or letter for the record.
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Chairman Boustany Announces Hearing on Using Evidence to Help Low-Income Individuals and Families Get Ahead

2015/03/17

Today, Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany (R-LA) announced that the subcommittee will hold a hearing titled, “Expanding Opportunity by Funding What Works: Using Evidence to Help Low-Income Individuals and Families Get Ahead.” This hearing is the second in a series focused on ways to help move America’s families forward. The hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17, in room B-318 of the Rayburn House Office Building

Hearing Advisory


Witness List

John Bridgeland
CEO, Civic Enterprises
Testimony
(Truth in Testimony)

David Muhlhausen
Research Fellow in Empirical Policy Analysis, The Heritage Foundation
Testimony
(Truth in Testimony)

Grover J. “Russ” Whitehurst
Director, Brown Center on Education Policy, The Brookings Institution
Testimony
(Truth in Testimony)

Joan Entmacher
Vice President for Family Economic Security, National Women’s Law Center
Testimony
(Truth in Testimony)

Public Submissions For Record
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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.”

2015/02/26

Chairman Ryan has scheduled a Meeting of the Committee on Ways and Means to be held in HVC 210 on Thursday, February 26, 2015, at 10:00 AM.

Markup Of:

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

Additional Markup Materials:

Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 1021
Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 284
Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 876
Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 887
Description of Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 1021 (Green Sheet)
Description of Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 284 (Green Sheet)
Description of Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 876 (Green Sheet)
Description of Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 887 (Green Sheet)

Markup Results:

H.R. 1021 was ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives as amended by voice vote (with a quorum being present).

Amendment by Mr. Tiberi to the amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 284, in which on page 3, lines 8 and 9, strike “that is offered a contract.”


The vote on the amendment by Mr. Tiberi to the amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 284, in which on page 3, lines 8 and 9, strike “that is offered a contract.,” was agreed to by voice vote (with a quorum being present).

H.R. 284 was ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives as amended by voice vote (with a quorum being present).

H.R. 876 was ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives as amended by voice vote (with a quorum being present).

H.R. 887 was ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives as amended by voice vote (with a quorum being present).
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Organizational Meeting of the Subcommittee on Social Security

2015/02/25

Chairman Johnson has scheduled an organizational meeting of the Subcommittee on Social Security to be held in B-318 Rayburn House Office Building on Wednesday, February 25, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. 
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Chairman Johnson Announces Hearing on Maintaining the Disability Insurance Trust Fund’s Solvency

2015/02/25

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.

Hearing Advisory

Witness List

Charles P. Blahous III, Ph.D.
Public Trustee, Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees
Testimony
(Truth in Testimony)

Ed Lorenzen
Senior Advisor, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
Testimony
(Truth in Testimony)

Webster Phillips
Senior Legislative Representative, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
Testimony
(Truth in Testimony)

Public Submissions For Record
Please click here to submit a statement or letter for the record.
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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.

2015/02/12

Chairman Ryan has scheduled a Meeting of the Committee on Ways and Means to be held in 1324 Longworth House Office Building on Thursday, February 12, 2015, at 9:30 AM.

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.

Additional Markup Materials

Committee on Ways and Means Views and Estimates on the Fiscal Year 2016 Federal Budget
H.R. 529

H.R. 622

H.R. 880

JCT Description of H.R. 529

JCT Description of H.R. 622

JCT Description of H.R. 880

Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 529

Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 622

Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 880

JCT Description of Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 529 Green Sheet

JCT Description of Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 622 Green Sheet

JCT Description of Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 880 Green Sheet

Markup Results:

Committee on Ways and Means Views and Estimates on the Fiscal Year 2016 Federal Budget was ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives by voice vote (with a quorum being present).

Amendment by Mr. Davis to the amendment in the nature of a substitute, in which under the amendment, 529 programs would be required to provide certain information regarding contributions and distributions required by the Secretary to be made public in aggregate form.

The vote on the amendment by Mr. Davis to the amendment in the nature of a substitute, in which under the amendment, 529 programs would be required to provide certain information regarding contributions and distributions required by the Secretary to be made public in aggregate form, was not agreed to by a roll call vote of 21 nays to 13 yeas (with a quorum being present).

Amendment by Mr. Davis to the amendment in the nature of a substitute, which under the amendment disqualifies 529 plans that accept contributions from taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes of more than three million dollars.

The vote on the amendment by Mr. Davis to the amendment in the nature of a substitute, in which under the amendment taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes of more than three million dollars would not be eligible to make contributions to 529 accounts, was not agreed to by a roll call vote of 23 nays to 14 yeas (with a quorum being present). 

H.R. 529 was ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives as amended by voice vote (with a quorum being present).

The bill, H.R 622, was ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives as amended by a roll call vote of 22 yeas to 14 nays (with a quorum being present).

The vote on the motion by Mr. Brady to table Mr. Crowley’s motion to appeal the ruling of the Chair was agreed to by a roll call vote of 23 yeas to 11 nays (with a quorum being present)

The bill, H.R 880, was ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives as amended by a roll call vote of 23 yeas to 12 nays (with a quorum being present). 

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Chairman Roskam Announces Hearing on Protecting Small Businesses from IRS Abuse

2015/02/11

House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) today announced that the Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight will hold a hearing on the IRS’s use of civil asset forfeiture laws to seize the bank accounts of law abiding small businesses, and the settlement tactics employed by the agency. The hearing will take place on Wednesday, February 11 at 10:00 AM in Room B-318 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Hearing Advisory

Witness List

PANEL 1:

The Honorable John Koskinen
Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service
Testimony

PANEL 2:

Mr. Andrew Clyde
CEO, Clyde Armory
Testimony
(Truth in Testimony)

Mr. Jeff Hirsch
Owner, Bi-County Distributors
Testimony
(Truth in Testimony)  

Mr. Robert Johnson
Attorney, Institute for Justice
Testimony
(Truth in Testimony)  

Mr. Randy Sowers
Owner, South Mountain Creamery
Testimony
(Truth in Testimony)  


Public Submissions For Record
Please click here to submit a statement or letter for the record.

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Organizational Meeting of the Subcommittee on Oversight

2015/02/11

Chairman Roskam has scheduled an organizational meeting of the Subcommittee on Oversight to be held in B-318 Rayburn House Office Building on Wednesday, February 11, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. 



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Contact Information

1102 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-3625
Fax 202-225-5680
waysandmeans.house.gov


Membership

Diane Black

TENNESSEE's 6th DISTRICT

Charles Boustany

LOUISIANA's 3rd DISTRICT

Kevin Brady

TEXAS' 8th DISTRICT

Vern Buchanan

FLORIDA's 16th DISTRICT

George Holding

NORTH CAROLINA's 13th DISTRICT

Lynn Jenkins

KANSAS' 2nd DISTRICT

Sam Johnson

TEXAS' 3rd DISTRICT

Mike Kelly

PENNSYLVANIA's 3rd DISTRICT

Kenny Marchant

TEXAS' 24th DISTRICT

Patrick Meehan

PENNSYLVANIA's 7th DISTRICT

Kristi Noem

SOUTH DAKOTA

Devin Nunes

CALIFORNIA's 22nd DISTRICT

Erik Paulsen

MINNESOTA's 3rd DISTRICT

Tom Price

GEORGIA's 6th DISTRICT

Tom Reed

NEW YORK's 23rd DISTRICT

Dave Reichert

WASHINGTON's 8th DISTRICT

Jim Renacci

OHIO's 16th DISTRICT

Peter Roskam

ILLINOIS' 6th DISTRICT

Paul Ryan

WISCONSIN's 1st DISTRICT

Adrian Smith

NEBRASKA's 3rd DISTRICT

Jason Smith

MISSOURI's 8th DISTRICT

Pat Tiberi

OHIO's 12th DISTRICT

Todd Young

INDIANA's 9th DISTRICT