House Passes Bi-Partisan Medicare Fix

By an overwhelming margin, the House passed H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act, which would change the way Medicare reimburses physicians and would extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for two years.   The bipartisan bill passed 392-37.  The Senate is planning to take up the measure when it returns in two weeks.  If Congress does not act, Medicare providers face a 21% cut in their reimbursement for medical care provided to eligible Medicare beneficiaries.   The bill also would make permanent a program to help low income Medicare beneficiaries pay for premiums and would permanently expand a Medicaid provision that helps families on Medicaid maintain their coverage for one year as they transition from temporary assistance to work.  The bill also would extend the therapy cap exceptions process and the Family –to-Family Health Information Centers for two years.  The Arc supports making these provisions permanent as well as a longer extension of CHIP.

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