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  • Washington Highlights

    House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Medicare Legislation

    Len Marquez, Senior Director, Government Relations

    The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health June 8 held a Member Day hearing on various proposals regarding the Medicare program.

    Subcommittee Chair Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) opened the hearing stating,“Members have put a lot of work into developing and drafting these pieces of legislation. And this Member Day hearing is their opportunity to share with their colleagues – and the American people – why these bills are important and why this committee should take them up.”

    Among the many proposals, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) highlighted The Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2015 (H.R. 2124). Rep. Crowley said the legislation “must be a priority in the Medicare program,” as it would expand federal support for graduate medical education (GME) at a time when the nation faces an impending doctor shortage. He continued, “Our health care needs are only growing. 10,000 Americans turn 65 each day, so it is clear we need to have doctors available to treat them and Americans of all ages.”

    He further highlighted the importance of expanded federal support for residency training at teaching hospitals saying, “They depend on this funding to fulfill their missions. It is an investment, not just in dollars and cents of running a teaching hospital, but in the highly complex and costly missions that teaching hospitals undertake. They run advanced trauma centers and burn units. They see more complex patients. They treat patients with rare and difficult diseases like Ebola, and that helps train future doctors in those areas.”

    Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) echoed his support for H.R. 2124 stating, “Given that it takes five to ten years to train a physician, the question facing Congress, is what we are doing to ensure that our nation’s physician workforce is ready to meet our health care needs of today and in the future?”