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Action Alert: Therapy Cap Repeal Amendment to be offered in the Senate

06-Apr-2015

Before leaving for recess, the House of Representatives passed a package to repeal and reform the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). The House extended the Medicare therapy cap exception process only until December 31, 2017, missing the best opportunity in 18 years for a permanent solution.

When the Senate returns on April 13 they will start work to finish the SGR legislation.

Your voices are being heard.

Because of your advocacy, an agreement is being considered to allow a vote on a senior's amendment led by Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) that would fully repeal the Medicare therapy cap once and for all.

Although BIAA supports passage of necessary SGR reform, we believe it is essential to include a permanent repeal of the therapy cap in final legislation. Not 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 like individuals with brain injury.
What can you do? Call your Senators and ask to speak to their Health Legislative Assistants. 
 
Your message:
  • 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.
Talking Points:
  • 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, including individuals with brain injury, 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.

Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
To find your Senators click here.


 
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