Health Subcommittee Leaders Cast Themselves in Party Roles

Shortly after taking the chairman role of the Health Subcommittee of the financially powerful House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) announced his commitment to work with other House Republicans to repeal Medicare's sustainable growth rate for physician payments, according to a report by The Hill.

The SGR, designed to slow the annual growth of Medicare reimbursement rates, has been a sore spot in Congress and patched over with overriding legislation each year since 2003. Most recently, a deal to avert the fiscal cliff prevented a 26.5 percent drop in the reimbursement rate, but without more scaffolding legislation to prop rates up, physician reimbursement from Medicare will drop more than 30 percent at the end of 2013.

Rep. Brady previously chaired the Committee's Trade Subcommittee. Democrats named Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) to the party's top spot in the Health Subcommittee. Rep. McDermott, a physician, supports a single-payor healthcare system and denounces GOP proposals to grant Medicare beneficiaries vouchers for private insurance.

More Articles on the Health Subcommittee:

GOP Representative Unveils Bill to Repeal PPACA's Cost-Cutting Board
Rep. Stark Introduces Bill to Improve Accuracy, Save $20B in Medicare Advantage Payments 
House Republicans Make Progress Toward Repeal of Medicare IPAB

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