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.
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 H.R. 5351, which he co-sponsored, that would prohibit the transfer of any detainees from United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay.
“President Obama was sworn into office with the predetermined mission of closing the Guantanamo Bay detainment facility. Before ordering an investigation to be conducted or even seeing the naval station firsthand in his new position as Commander in Chief, this reckless agenda was already decided.
“The Obama Administration has taken a reckless approach to admonishing some of the most dangerous terrorists who have ever stepped foot on U.S. soil. Over 30% of prisoners released from Guantanamo have returned to the battlefield. It is unfathomable to me that a discussion is even needed about transferring these detainees, who were brought to Guantanamo for serious reason—the least of which is direct involvement in plotting or executing deadly attacks against the United States and our allies.
“For the last seven years, Congress has explicitly rejected the President’s irresponsible path to closing the detainment facility. I am proud to stand with fellow members of the House of Representatives in defense of Americans and the processes on which this country was built.”
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 today’s announcement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on MACRA flexibility.
“I am pleased that CMS has heard my calls and the calls of the provider community for the flexibility in transitioning to the new payment reporting requirements. Today’s announcement from CMS regarding the agency’s dedication to flexibility in the implementation of MACRA is proof of the benefits of keeping Congress involved in policy implementation. Just as this policy was carefully crafted with the input of everyone affected by the payment policies, the implementation process should be conducted in the same way. I am committed to leading the charge for continued Congressional oversight of MACRA implementation to ensure simplified, streamlined requirements that allow for all doctors to succeed.”
Read the full announcement from CMS here.
FLOWER MOUND, TX— This morning Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, joined the Town of Flower Mound for its Economic Development Forum at the Innovate Flower Mound, the Town's newly-opened entrepreneurial center.
Dr. Burgess spoke about the work that the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade is doing to prevent burdensome federal regulations from impeding growth, innovation and job creation. Under the chairmanship of Dr. Burgess, the Subcommittee has held a string of hearings known as the “Disrupters Series” to examine emerging technologies, such as the sharing economy, the block chain, mobile payments, 3-D printing, and the Internet of Things.
DENTON, TX— This week, Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, attended the grand opening of the North Texas Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) in Denton.
While at the grand opening, Dr. Burgess addressed attendees and expressed his appreciation for the collaboration between the Denton United Way and the North Texas LITC in meeting the tax needs of the low-income population in Denton County. Additionally, Dr. Burgess had the opportunity to speak with some of the University of North Texas (UNT) graduate accounting students who will be providing the clinic’s taxpayer services, while under the supervision of a licensed tax professional.
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 release of the Independence at Home program’s year 2 performance data by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today.
“I am pleased to see that the second year performance data for the Independence at Home program continues to demonstrate its value in delivering high quality care to Medicare patients in the home, while generating significant savings for taxpayers. I worked hard with my counterparts in the House and Senate to ensure that this program would remain available to high-risk Medicare beneficiaries through 2017. I remain committed to the sustained success of the IAH program to guarantee that Medicare beneficiaries continue to receive valuable and cost-effective benefits.”
More information on the recent data from CMS here.
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.
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The Obama Administration's reckless giveaway of U.S. oversight of basic Internet functions to an international consortium will not only endanger