When the U.S. House of Representatives votes on whether to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act next week, it will also vote on a resolution to replace the landmark 2010 law—which includes an amendment to permanently fix the Medicare physician payment formula.
Doc-fix amendment part of repeal move
House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.) this week introduced a resolution that directs the House Ways and Means Committee as well as the Energy and Commerce, Education and the Workforce and Judiciary committees to begin the work of drafting replacement provisions that would foster economic growth and job creation; lower healthcare premiums through greater competition and choice; expand incentives to encourage personal responsibility for healthcare costs; and eliminate duplicative government programs and wasteful spending. Included in Dreier's resolution was an amendment from Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) that instructs the committees to find a permanent fix to the sustainable growth-rate formula. That could mean good news for physicians, except for the fact that it's attached to a bill they do not support.
"The AMA appreciates Rep. Matheson's ongoing commitment to addressing this issue, and we will continue working with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle for a long-term solution to this problem," Cecil Wilson, president of the American Medical Association, said in a written statement Friday. "The AMA does not support initiatives to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Expanding health coverage, insurance market reforms, administrative simplifications and initiatives to promote wellness and prevention are key parts of the new law that reflect AMA priorities."
House debate to consider rules on the repeal bill and replacement resolution continued Friday, and the House is scheduled to vote on the measures on Wed., Jan. 12.
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