As you may know, the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) was created as a provision of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. The SGR has created a system where physicians who treat Medicare patients would experience a cut of more than 20 percent in their reimbursement.
This would, in effect, negatively impact Mainers who rely on these Medicare services.
For more than a decade, Washington has kicked this can down the road and left Maine seniors who rely on Medicare services uncertain of whether or not they will receive care each year.
Instead of enacting real reforms, Washington has repeatedly used a temporary “doc fix” to patch the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate formula. This is an irresponsible way to govern and it’s unfairly burdening our Second District seniors and medical practitioners.
I’m very concerned that the implementation of the SGR cut could leave Maine’s seniors without access to doctors. It’s imperative for Congress to protect and preserve Medicare and make it more accessible for our seniors.
To that end, I proudly voted in support of the Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act. This bipartisan bill provides the first-step in preserving and protecting Medicare for our seniors.
The Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act will stop a 21 percent cut to reimbursement rates for doctors who see Medicare patients that would have occurred on March 31 by repealing the broken SGR formula. This will provide better access to health care for our Maine seniors while helping our taxpayers save money.
While this bill is not perfect and there is much more work to be done, I believe it’s an important pathway to allow our Maine seniors to continue to see their trusted doctors by making Medicare more accessible and strengthening Medicare for future generations.