Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, issued the following statement about the impending premium cost increases for many Americans, due to the failure of ObamaCare.
"The 'Bad News Chickens' of ObamaCare have come home to roost. And if they live in Texas, this will mean a premium increase of 33 percent on average--or as much as 70 percent for some across the country. With higher deductibles and co-pays, it is no surprise that former President Bill Clinton called this a 'crazy system.' The problem is compounded by the fact that now fewer and fewer Commercial Health Insurance Companies are continuing to participate. Higher costs, fewer choices, narrower provider networks- all add up to big problems for millions of hardworking Americans who are trying to provide coverage for their families and have found the landscape has dramatically shifted against them. Will the problems be fixed with more federal subsidies, more onerous penalties, and further consolidation of the insurance market by the interposition of a so called 'public option?' Or is there a 'better way' with a patient centered plan that prioritizes affordability and choice?"
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, issued the following statement on the Center of Medicare & Medicaid Services’ release of the final physician payment rule implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).
“A thorough and critical reading of the MACRA final rule will take some time, however on initial review I am pleased to see significant alterations and increased flexibility built in that reflect changes called for by the medical community. In particular, it is evident that the regulation is responsive to the needs and concerns presented by small, independent, and rural practices. I appreciate that CMS and Administrator Slavitt have taken every possible step to maximize and incorporate the input from clinicians.
“As we look towards implementation of MACRA, it will be important that we remain open to legislative remedies to ensure that the law meets the needs of patients and providers—not bureaucrats or politicians. Unlike the ACA, this law was carefully crafted with those it will affect in mind—both patients and physicians. It is now important for Congress to continue oversight to be certain the law is carried out exactly as intended.
“It is more important now than ever before that medical societies are doing everything possible to prepare their members for success in the transition to MACRA. The release of this rule underscores the importance of involvement from all those affected in the rulemaking process and the importance of appointing strong and committed agency leadership.”
Access the final rule from CMS here.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, issued the following statement on the Center of Medicare & Medicaid Services’ announcement of a new initiative to improve the clinician experience with the Medicare program."I am encouraged by CMS’ efforts to improve its engagement with clinicians and the concrete steps the agency is taking to implement clinician-driven solutions. It is clear that the listening sessions that CMS has been conducting have increased the agency’s understanding of the divide between how physicians practice and the agency’s regulation of the industry. As we await the final rule, CMS must continue prioritizing flexibility to allow physicians to focus on patient care.”
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, issued the following statement about the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) intent to place the active materials in kratom, Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, in the Schedule I category of controlled substances.
"The DEA announced on August 31, 2016, it intended to temporarily classify kratom as a Schedule I drug. Under current law, the DEA does have the authority to place a substance under a temporary schedule for up to two years, if that substance is deemed an imminent hazard to public safety. The DEA stated this decision was due to the fact that kratom was commonly marketed as a legal alternative to illegal substances. Additionally, law enforcement has seen a drastic increase in kratom trafficking and usage.
"Because of public concern, the DEA recently withdrew its notice to temporarily schedule kratom and will be taking public comment on the matter until December 1, 2016. Prior to this announcement, I made a formal inquiry to the DEA, requesting they explain their reasoning behind this decision. The DEA has utilized its authority to temporarily schedule substances in the past. However, the abrupt nature of the DEA’s actions, in this instance, is without precedent and going forward should warrant a more open process. It is imperative that decisions such as this are properly scrutinized by the Congress and that the public has the opportunity to offer comments to ensure an informed review process. I encourage you to make your comments known to the DEA prior to the December 1 deadline."
Washington, D.C. — Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, issued the following statement.
"When I heard of the comments made by Mr. Trump in 2005, I was distressed. I cannot condone nor defend these remarks. However as Mr. Trump stated, this campaign has changed him as a candidate and a man and this election needs to be about which candidate will advance our conservative principles. Based on comments made by Hillary Clinton in paid speeches, there is no doubt Mr. Trump remains the best candidate for President. Saturday morning I was contacted by a constituent. Her observation: 'A vote for Trump is not to condone his behavior, but to preserve what little freedom we have left in America.' I could not agree more."
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, issued the following statement after voting against the passage of H.R. 5325, a continuing resolution for the fiscal year of 2016.
“There is far too much at stake in this election year to not address the essential issues at the forefront of concern for so many of our constituents. This election cycle has made it clear Americans will no longer accept business as usual. And this spending deal admits Congress’ refusal to acknowledge that.
“I could not support a deal that did not take action to prevent the transition of U.S. oversight of the internet to an international entity—an action that cannot be undone.
“Also of great importance to me, the short-term funding spending measure neglected to put one dime towards establishing a more stringent vetting system for Syrian refugees. Currently, the Administration is on track to far exceed its goal by admitting 12,500 Syrian refugees in fiscal year 2016 alone and aims to admit 110,000 refugees over the next 12 months. Anyone who enters into this country must be properly vetted to ensure there is no risk of letting terrorist sympathizers slip through the cracks. We continue to lack the necessary resolve to thoroughly vet refugee applicants from Syria. And unfortunately, the CR failed to address that problem.
“It is my hope that as we begin negotiating the longer-term spending bills for December, we address the serious failings of this Administration and do not concede to a comprehensive omnibus bill.”
WASHINGTON - Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), joined by Representatives Kathy Castor (D-FL.), Gene Green (D-TX) and Richard Hudson (R-NC) today introduced the MISSION ZERO Act, to assist assigning Department of Defense (DoD) trauma surgeons to civilian trauma centers filling a gap in care recently examined by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. This legislation will address variations in care methods that exist, while also providing military surgeons with additional training. U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL), John Cornyn (R-TX) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) are original cosponsors of the legislation have introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
“Our military has made incredible strides in delivering trauma care, saving countless lives that would have otherwise been lost,” said Rep. Burgess, M.D. “This expertise should be brought home to our civilian trauma centers and systems, American lives shouldn’t depend on where one is injured. The MISSION Zero Act would establish a grant program to foster partnership between our military and civilian trauma providers to benefit all Americans. I am proud to be part of this important bipartisan, bicameral legislation to strengthen our nation’s trauma care and save more lives on and off the battlefield.”
Currently, trauma care in the United States is a patchwork of regional systems and incomplete data registries. Mortality and disability in traumatic injury can be greatly reduced through integrated, permanent joint civilian and military trauma system training platforms, in order to create and sustain an expert trauma workforce between periods of active combat.
The MISSION ZERO Act is endorsed by the American Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Trauma Care Association of America, American College of Emergency Physicians and American College of Surgeons.
This bill would address this problem by creating two grant programs totaling $40 million:
“This bill is common sense. By keeping our military personnel active and in training, we ensure military readiness while helping areas throughout the state that need it most, whether it is assisting Chicago area trauma centers during high crime peaks, or in rural areas where access to trauma response is limited. Partnerships between our civilian and military health networks should be generated to improve our trauma response network to improve health outcomes,” said Senator Kirk.
“In recent years, the unprecedented challenges military doctors have faced on the battlefield in places like Iraq and Afghanistan have led to impressive trauma care developments that can and should benefit all Americans who might face such injuries,” Senator Cornyn said. “I’m thankful for the work of Senator Kirk to make sure our military doctors have a place to continue their important work, keep their skills in trauma care finely honed, and lend their expertise to civilian hospitals at home.”
“Our service men and women bring unique and valuable skills and training to the medical field, whether it’s operating in high-pressure situations or having a can-do attitude that comes with serving in uniform,” said Senator Isakson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “In addition, acute care at trauma centers nationwide will greatly benefit from increased access to highly qualified medical professionals. Integrating our nation’s best trauma centers with military trauma providers will ultimately have the greatest benefit to the American people?”
“This grant program will support the development of a national trauma care system that allows for the continuous and seamless exchange of knowledge across the military and civilian health care sectors,” said Rep. Green. “This would better provide optimal delivery of trauma care to save the lives of Americans injured within the United States or on the battlefield. As we grapple with how to best support our men and women in uniform and respond to tragedies at home, we must make certain that our trauma systems and centers are best prepared to save lives.”
“As a Representative of North Carolina – home of the epicenter of the universe, Fort Bragg – I understand how critical it is for our military trauma teams to maintain their unique medical skills off the battlefield,” said Rep. Hudson. “That’s why I’m proud to join my colleagues to introduce this bipartisan bill that will place military trauma teams into high acuity civilian trauma centers, empowering them to hone their expertise and enhancing our civilian trauma centers across the country.”
“We need to build on the unique partnership between Tampa General Hospital and military medical professionals from MacDill Air Force Base. MacDill is home to the 6th Air Medical Group that serves the Sixth Air Mobility Wing, U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command,” said Rep. Castor. “In 2011, the MacDill Air Medical Group and Tampa General Hospital launched a ‘full team’ training initiative with nurses, surgeons and specialists. The initiative allows military and civilian medical teams to hone their skills in intense trauma environments and thereby keep them sharp to care for our warfighters. These partnerships are going to be vital for continued training for our community and our military. It should be replicated in other trauma centers across the U.S.”
"We applaud Dr. Burgess, Reps. Green, Hudson and Castor and Senators Kirk, Cornyn and Isakson for introducing legislation highlighting the critical issue of improving our trauma care system. Increasing military civilian partnerships is a critical step forward toward achieving the goal of zero preventable traumatic injury deaths both domestically and abroad,” said David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, Executive Director American College of Surgeons.
"The American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons are pleased to endorse the MISSION Zero Act,” said Shelly D. Timmons, MD, PhD, a practicing neurosurgeon at Penn State Hershey specializing in trauma. “This legislation would provide an outstanding opportunity for our nation's trauma centers and military to collaborate for the benefit of our servicemen and women, and to augment the capabilities of trauma centers around the country."
Read the full bill text here.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressmen Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) and Ron Kind (D-WI) introduced the Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act. This legislation would allow individuals who are eligible for immunosuppressive drugs under Medicare Part B to continue to receive their vital treatment past the current 36 month cutoff. Without these drugs, transplant recipients are at risk to lose their transplanted kidneys – which too often occurs.
“After the stress of undergoing an organ transplant and enduring the length of recovery, patients should not have to worry that a mandate from the federal government would prevent them from receiving treatment for as long as may be required,” said Burgess. “Patients should not have to sacrifice quality care due to the federal policy that denies coverage for anti-rejection drugs after 36 months. I am pleased to join Representative Kind in reintroducing this commonsense, bipartisan policy that will safeguard both patients and taxpayer dollars by preventing more costly alternatives such as organ rejection or return to dialysis.”
“Our organ transplant patients and their families should not be concerned about an arbitrary federal policy denying them access to medications that help them keep their transplanted kidney,” said Kind. “The legislation Rep. Burgess and I have introduced will provide kidney transplant patients continued access to medication to ensure the success of their transplant, while keeping health care costs down by decreasing the need for further dialysis and the likelihood of a re-transplant.”
Since 1972, Medicare has covered patients with irreversible kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease (ESRD). While there is no Medicare time limit for a dialysis patient, kidney transplant recipients lose their Medicare coverage 36 months after they receive their transplant. Extending immunosuppressive coverage beyond the 36 month limit would decrease the risk of organ failure due to patients neglecting to take the immunosuppressants following loss of immunosuppressive coverage. Furthermore, transplant recipients have a higher quality of life, and are more likely to return to employment than dialysis patients.
The bill has support from numerous groups including the American Medical Association (AMA), National Kidney Foundation (NKF), American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS), American Society of Transplantation (AST), American Society of Nephrology (ASN), American Society of Pediatric Nephrology (ASPN), American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP), Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO), Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) and Renal Physicians Association (RPA).
“As a kidney transplant recipient myself, I can tell you that for many patients the costs of immunosuppressive medication can be prohibitive, and it just isn’t something you can skip. There are 100,000 people on the kidney transplantation wait list and a severe shortage of donated kidneys available. With an average wait time of five years for a transplant, public policy makers and the transplant community must do everything possible to provide, and maintain, coverage for transplant recipients,” said Kevin Longino, Chief Executive Officer, National Kidney Foundation (NKF).
"The immunosuppression bill will give access to lifesaving immunosuppressive therapies to transplant recipients who without critical drugs may lose their transplanted organs. The American Society of Transplantation (AST) applauds the leadership of congressmen Burgess and Kind in supporting passage of the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2016,” said Dr. Anil Chandraker, M.D., President, American Society of Transplantation (AST).
Washington, D.C. — Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, issued the following statement in response to the passage of the Improving Access to Maternity Care Act (H.R. 1209) through the Energy & Commerce full committee.
“Consistent, high-quality maternity care is of the utmost importance for both a mother and baby during pregnancy. H.R. 1209 is an important step in addressing critical shortages of maternity care providers across the country. I am appreciative that the full committee recognizes the value of helping place more maternity care providers where they are needed most throughout the country and for the dedication of the professional organizations in advancing this important piece of legislation.”
The National Health Service Corps provides student loan repayment to physicians and other health professionals in exchange for a commitment to provide care in designated Health Professional Shortage Areas. This program has been effective in reducing provider shortages by inspiring new providers to start where they are needed most. This legislation would more effectively allocate maternity care providers based on an area or population’s specific needs. Maternity care providers will continue to be able to participate, but their participation will be targeted to areas with a demonstrated shortage of maternity care providers, not just a primary care shortage. This is a budget neutral bill.
2336 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
After spending nearly three decades practicing medicine in North Texas I have served the constituents of the 26th District since 2003 in the United States House of Representatives.
I currently serve on the prestigious House Energy and Commerce Committee and in the 113th Congress, 2013 and 2014, will serve as the Vice Chairman of both the Subcommittee on Health and the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, and as a member of the Energy and Power Subcommittee. In addition, I am a member of the Rules Committee and the Helsinki Commission. In 2009, I founded, and currently serve as Co-Chair of the Congressional Health Caucus.
Because of my medical background, I have been a strong advocate for health care legislation aimed at reducing health care costs, improving choices, reforming liability laws to put the needs of patients first, and ensuring there are enough doctors in the public and private sector to care for America’s patients and veterans. I have played an important role in bipartisan efforts to ensure the safety of food, drugs, and consumer products, and have introduced legislation to strengthen our ability to stop dangerous products from coming into the country.
As a Member of Congress representing one of the fastest growing areas of the country, transportation is also a top priority. In 2005, I successfully amended the Highway Bill to include development credits, design-build, and environmental streamlining. During my time on Capitol Hill, I have worked to build, maintain, and improve the safety of our roads, bridges, air service, and transit in the North Texas region.
A fiscal conservative, I believe Americans deserve a federal government that is more efficient, effective, less costly, and always transparent. I follow a strict adherence to the Constitution, and oppose unnecessary expansion of the federal government’s control over Americans’ personal freedoms. Instead, I believe in giving people more control over their lives and their money.
During my time on Capitol Hill, I have earned a reputation as a problem-solver who seeks sensible solutions to the challenges Americans face and have received several awards including: the Guardian of Small Business award by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB); the Spirit of Enterprise award by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and the Taxpayer Hero award from the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste; among others.
Today, I represent the majority of Denton County, and parts of Dallas County and Tarrant County. I was raised in Denton, and attended The Selwyn School, graduating in 1968 as valedictorian. In addition, I graduated with both an undergraduate and a master’s degree from North Texas State University, now the University of North Texas.
I received my M.D. from the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, and completed my residency programs at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. I also received a master’s degree in Medical Management from the University of Texas at Dallas, and in May of 2009 was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Public Service from the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center.
My wife, Laura, and I have been married for 39 years. We have three children and two grandsons.
#OnThisDay in 1861 the first telegram was transmitted across the U.S. from CA Chief Justice Stephen Field to President Lincoln in D.C.
The higher costs, fewer choices and narrower provider networks of this "crazy system" will continue to fail millions of Americans until we implement
Today President Obama will declare victory for the ACA during his speech in Florida, but the President’s measure for success is deeply flawed
In case you missed my interview with Fox & Friends this morning, I discussed the looming collapse of the ACA and how the law is hurting the very
A thorough and critical reading of the MACRA final rule will take some time, however on initial review I am pleased to see significant alterations
Prior to the DEA's decision to withdraw the ban on Kratom, I issued a formal inquiry to the agency, requesting they explain their reasoning behind