Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means Republicans Urge Biden Administration to Provide Certainty for Seniors Regarding Medicare Advantage Proposed Rule

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), House Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith (R-MO), Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health Chair Vern Buchanan (R-FL), along with their Republican committee colleagues, wrote to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xaiver Becerra and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, urging them to provide clarity to seniors regarding the CMS Calendar Year 2024 Advance Notice for the Medicare Advantage (MA) program. 

Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Rodgers: “Before making any significant unilateral changes to Medicare, the Biden administration needs to have an unambiguous understanding of any potential effect on seniors’ benefits and premiums. That said, excess payments that were not authorized or intended by Congress are a misuse of taxpayer dollars that weaken the Medicare program. Congress should seek to address both problems broadly across Medicare and the federal budget. If the administration has done its due diligence, it should have no issues responding promptly to our reasonable questions." 

Ways and Means Committee Chair Smith: “President Biden’s has a detailed track record of mismanaging Medicare for our nation's seniors, from implementing the largest ever increase in Medicare premiums to severely limiting access to novel treatments such as for Alzheimer's. It is vital that the Biden Administration clarify the changes they are forcing through and the rationale behind them. The 31 million seniors who rely on Medicare Advantage need assurance that their cost, coverage, and access to care will not be impacted.”  

Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chair Brett Guthrie: “This is about ensuring the more than 31 million seniors, who use Medicare Advantage, and Congress understand the real impact the Biden Administration’s proposed changes will have on the availability of MA services across the country. The Biden Administration’s history with Medicare gives reason for skepticism and a call for more transparency on the decision-making behind the Biden Administration’s proposed changes.”  

Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chair Buchanan: “Medicare Advantage is an enormously successful program and model of a public-private partnership that offers greater choice, increased competition and lower costs,” said Buchanan. “The Biden administration’s proposed changes to Medicare are a direct attack on the 55 percent of Florida seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage, and could affect their ability to receive access to timely, quality health care. At a time when inflation is eating away at seniors’ budgets, many of whom live on fixed incomes, the last thing they need are higher out-of-pocket costs and major cuts in services.” 

The members requested responses to their questions no later than March 24, 2023. 

CLICK HERE to read the full letter.