WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) issued the following statement on the estimate released last evening by the Congressional Budget Office showing the new reforms in the House America’s Affordable Health Choices Act are deficit neutral:
“In keeping with our commitment to creating policy in a fiscally responsible manner, Congressional Democrats pledged that health care reform would be fully paid for and would not contribute to the federal deficit. The CBO estimate confirms that the newly proposed health reforms in the legislation meet that commitment.
“There are net costs scored by CBO attributable to the Medicare physician payment formula that are not offset. However, these costs would not increase spending above what would be necessary to simply maintain current Medicare physician reimbursement rates, and under a budget resolution adopted by the House earlier this year will not be subject to the House PAYGO rule.”
Next week, the House will consider statutory "Pay-As-You-Go" legislation to reestablish the budget rules in place under the Clinton Administration that turned deficits into surpluses. Passage of this legislation will allow the costs of extending certain current policies, including the spending necessary to continue current Medicare physician reimbursement rates, to not be subject to the House PAYGO rule. The costs of the Medicare physician payment provisions in the bill to prevent the scheduled reductions in physician payments and reform the formula to better align incentives toward quality and efficiency are lower than the costs of extending the SGR freeze and therefore will not be subject to the House PAYGO rule.