WHAT YOU CAN DO – CALL YOUR SENATORS AND ASK FOR THE HEALTH LEGISLATIVE ASSISTANT. CALLED THEM LAST WEEK? DO IT AGAIN. Senator Mike Lee: (202) 224-5444 and Senator Orrin Hatch: (202) 224-5251
THE CURRENT SITUATION
In March, the House of Representatives passed a package to repeal and reform the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) while only extending the Medicare therapy cap exception process until December 31, 2017, missing the best opportunity for a permanent solution in 18 years. When the Senate returns next Monday, it will be looking to finish work on SGR legislation. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) is leading an effort to allow an amendment to the SGR package which would fully repeal the Medicare therapy cap once and for all. AARP and a number of patient and consumer organizations representing millions of patients and beneficiaries are joining our fight to support this effort and we are calling on all advocates to call their Senators NOW.
Although APTA supports passage of necessary SGR reform, we believe it is essential to include a permanent repeal of the therapy cap in final legislation- without doing so is a missed opportunity for a long-term solution and puts beneficiaries in a dire situation when this extension expires. Without SGR as a legislative vehicle in future years, necessary therapy for beneficiaries’ who need it most will be threatened. We need your help to weigh in with your legislators to ensure a full repeal of the therapy cap is included in any final permanent SGR deal. It is of vital importance to act now to put this issue to rest and protect the Medicare beneficiaries we serve.
WHAT YOU CAN DO – CALL YOUR SENATORS AND ASK FOR THE HEALTH LEGISLATIVE ASSISTANT. CALLED THEM LAST WEEK? DO IT AGAIN.
Senator Mike Lee: (202) 224-5444
Senator Orrin Hatch: (202) 224-5251
- Senator Cardin is pushing for an opportunity to offer an amendment to fully repeal the therapy cap. I strongly urge you to support his effort and to vote for this critical amendment.
- Since Congress established the arbitrary cap on Medicare outpatient therapy services, Congress has acted 12 times to prevent the cap’s implementation. This issue has historically moved through Congress along with legislation on the SGR.
- Without combining full repeal of the therapy cap with full repeal of the SGR, the impact will fall on the 1 million beneficiaries impacted by the cap each year.
- The therapy cap policy has already been examined by Congress for reform: In the 113th Congress, a permanent solution to the therapy cap was agreed to with provisions to repeal and reform the therapy cap included in Senate Finance SGR legislation which was supported by the therapy stakeholder community. This negotiated language is included in the proposed amendment.
- An extension of the therapy cap, rather than using this opportunity for full repeal, is short-sighted and puts Medicare beneficiaries in a dire situation when the extension expires.
- Continual extensions of the therapy cap exceptions process costs significantly more in the long run than addressing a permanent solution NOW.
Please call your Senator NOW and ask them to support allowing this amendment to be considered as part of the SGR package next week. Be sure to also ask your Senator to vote yes on the amendment.