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Response to House legislative package to repeal and replace the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula (H.R. 2)

On behalf of the Medicare Rights Center (Medicare Rights), I am writing to express our concern with the House leadership’s legislative package to repeal and replace the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula (H.R. 2). Medicare Rights is a national, nonprofit organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives. Medicare Rights provides services and resources to over 1.5 million beneficiaries, family caregivers, and professionals annually.

We are grateful to the House Republican and Democratic leadership for working to develop an SGR compromise. The SGR formula is fundamentally flawed, and permanent changes to the Medicare reimbursement system are long overdue. We support legislative efforts to repeal the SGR and to move Medicare’s volume-based payment system towards one that incentivizes quality, efficiency, and innovation. Yet, H.R. 2 does not represent a fair deal for people with Medicare—expecting too much from beneficiaries in return for too little. The legislation’s treatment of health care “extenders” and its proposed offsets leave significant room for improvement.

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