House, Senate Leaders Express Concern for, Question Legality of Proposed Medicare Part D Changes

February 20, 2014

In Letter to Secretary Sebelius, Administrator Tavenner, Leaders Call for Administration to Withdraw Proposed Regulation

WASHINGTON, DC – House and Senate Committee leaders yesterday called on the administration to withdraw its proposed changes to the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, the leaders question the legality of the proposed regulation and warn of the harmful effects the changes would have on America’s seniors. The letter was signed by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), and Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

The leaders write, “CMS is proposing to fundamentally undermine the program and jeopardize the prescription drug plans that million of seniors rely on for their health and peace of mind. … Given the important legal questions and irreparable harm facing seniors across the country, we request that you reject these harmful changes to the Part D program and withdraw this proposed regulation.  A failure to reject this rule will force Congress to evaluate all legislative options necessary to ensure seniors are protected.”

On January 6, 2014, CMS released proposed regulations that would fundamentally change the Medicare Part D program. “The 700-page proposal is a bureaucratic overreach into a highly functioning marketplace that will undermine the success of the Part D program, threatening the prescription drug coverage that provides peace of mind to 35 million seniors across the country and resulting in higher premiums, copayments, and deductibles for seniors while adding unnecessary costs for taxpayers.”

Read the complete letter online here.

 

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