Barletta Votes to Protect Healthcare for Seniors, Women, and Children

Nov 3, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON – This week, Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) voted in favor of two bills protecting Medicare, women’s access to healthcare from community health centers, and reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program.  H.R. 849, Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2017, passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 307 to 111, while H.R. 3922, CHAMPIONING HEALTH KIDS Act, which funds the state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), community health centers, and other public health priorities, passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 242 to 174.  Barletta supported both measures.

“These programs are critical to ensuring the access to health care for the most vulnerable remains available,” Barletta said following passage.  “We need to protect seniors and children in this country.  What is important to me is that I can go home to my constituents and say we have made sure these programs are financially stable and accessible for the future.  Medicare needs to be there for seniors, while CHIP is critical to provide children with health coverage and health care.  Community health centers provide essential services for women’s health, something I am passionate about maintaining.  I’m happy to see that the House heard the calls from Pennsylvanians, and took steps today to protect these vital programs.”

H.R. 3922 – CHAMPIONING HEALTH KIDS Act

H.R. 3922 funds the state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), community health centers, and other important public health priorities.  CHIP would be extended for five years under the plan, keeping millions of children off Medicaid and the Obamacare exchanges by ensuring they continue to receive coverage through state CHIP programs.  Over 290,000 take advantage of CHIP in Pennsylvania.  Barletta led a letter in September to “urge swift action on the extension of federal funding for the Children’s health insurance Program.”

The bill also restores the historically successful federal-state partnership in place before Obamacare became law.  Also in the bill is a two year extension of community health centers.  One in 13 people nationwide rely on these health centers for their health care needs. 

Two year funding for the National Health Service Corps, Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education, Family-to-Family Health Information Centers, the Youth Empowerment Program, and the Personal Responsibility Education Program are included in this bill.  For Medicaid, the bill averts a Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital reduction of $5 billion, which is scheduled to take place under current law, while also providing $1 billion for Medicaid programs in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

The bill would reduce current federal subsidies for seniors earning over $500k per year by limiting government contributions for their Part B and D premiums, allow states to dis-enroll lottery winners from Medicaid, and redirects Prevention and Public Health fund dollars to more efficient programs like community health centers.

H.R. 849 - Protecting Seniors' Access to Medicare Act of 2017

H.R. 849 terminates the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) which has the unprecedented authority to unilaterally alter Medicare policy that could ultimately reduce seniors’ access to health care and puts the government at the center of our health care system.

IPAB, commonly known as “death panels” and created by Obamacare, puts the government – rather than patients and doctors – at the center of our health care system.  The board is granted unilateral authority to alter Medicare policy.  Fifteen unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats are given unilateral control of Medicare, while their decisions affecting the millions of Medicare policies can only be changed by a supermajority vote in Congress. 

If no board members are appointed, the Health and Human Services Secretary would be solely responsible for developing the legislation to cut Medicare to achieve the savings target.  The current Medicare program is unstable, but allowing a panel of bureaucrats to make critical health care decisions instead of patients and their families only further threatens the stability. This bipartisan bill would eliminate IPAB.

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