On March 26, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a permanent Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) repeal package – H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act – by a vote of 392-32. The Senate decided not to vote on H.R. 2 prior to its two-week recess. So, the next step is for the Senate to vote on and pass H.R. 2, when Senators return from recess on Monday, April 13th.
Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) is considering offering an amendment to H.R. 2 that would permanently repeal Medicare’s Part B outpatient therapy caps. Cardin’s proposal would amend the House-passed version of H.R. 2, which currently provides a two-year extension of the therapy caps exceptions process and limited “manual medical reviews” for claims above the $3,700 threshold.
Past Congresses have supported eliminating the therapy caps altogether. In 2013, a permanent solution to this policy, which would have repealed and reformed the therapy cap, was nearly accomplished in the Senate SGR legislation. Senator Cardin has sponsored legislation (S. 539, the Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act) that would repeal the harmful caps. In the 113th Congress, more than one-third of the Senate agreed to cosponsor this legislation.
Senators STILL need to hear from you! Providers, family and patients should continue to share how necessary the SGR Repeal legislation and a Therapy Cap Repeal amendment is to all of us. Please email your Senators and urge them to allow a vote on Senator Cardin’s Therapy Cap amendment – and vote to support it! It is particularly important that we obtain support from both Republican Senators and those up for election in 2016. Check to see if your Senators are on this list by clicking here.
Your continuing grassroots push calling for Senate action on H.R. 2 is crucial!
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