|00:00:00||OVER NATIONAL HEALTH REFORM PROPOSALS.|
|00:00:03||THROUGHOUT THESE DEBATES LAWMAKERS STRUGGLE WITH HOW TO CONTROL COSTS WITHOUT SACRIFICING QUALITY CARE.|
|00:00:08||UNFORTUNATELY FOR DECADES CONGRESS CHOSE TO KICK THE CAN DOWN THE ROAD WHILE COSTS CONTINUED TO CLIMB AND TO SOAR.|
|00:00:15||THIS TREND ENDED WITH THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT.|
|00:00:18||FOR THE FIRST TIME CONGRESS PUT IN PLACE SPECIFIC IDENTIFIABLE MEASURES THAT WILL MAKE OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM MORE TRANSPARENT AND EFFICIENT.|
|00:00:25||THIS INCLUDES THE CREATION OF THE INDEPENDENT PAYMENT ADVISORY BOARD, THIS BOARD WILL BE A BACKSTOP TO ENSURE THAT FEDERAL HEALTH PROGRAMS OPERATE EFFICIENTLY AND EFFECTIVELY FOR BOTH SENIORS AND THE TAXPAYERS.|
|00:00:38||WE NEED TO GIVE THESE INNOVATIONS A CHANCE TO WORK BECAUSE WITHOUT THESE INNOVATIONS THERE IS LITTLE HOPE THAT -- TO GET HEALTH CARE COSTS UNDER CONTROL.|
|00:00:47||535 MEMBERS OF CONGRESS CANNOT BE NOR SHOULD THEY BE THE DOCTORS WHO THINK THEY KNOW BEST OF THE PRACTICE OF EVERY MEDICAL FIELD.|
|00:00:55||535 MEMBERS OF CONGRESS ARE NOT IMMUNE TO SPECIAL INTERESTS THAT HAVE A FINANCIAL STAKE IN THE DECISIONS THAT ARE MADE.|
|00:01:01||NOT NECESSARILY THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE SENIOR, THE TAXPAYERS OR THE DELIVERY OF MEDICINE IN THIS COUNTRY.|
|00:01:06||BUT PERHAPS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THEIR COMPANIES.|
|00:01:09||THAT'S WHY THE AFFORDABLE CARE CREATED AN INDEPENDENT BOARD OF HEALTH EXPERTS TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS TO IMPROVE THE SYSTEM.|
|00:01:16||IT DOES NOT USURP THE ROLE OF CONGRESS, IT SIMPLY ACTS AS A FAILSAFE IN CASE GOVERNMENT SPENDING EXCEEDS BENCHMARKS.|
|00:01:23||UNDER THE LAW DOCTORS WILL ATTAIN FULL AUTHORITY TO RECOMMEND THE TREATMENT THEY THINK ARE BEST FOR PATIENTS.|
|00:01:27||THE LAW ALSO PROHIBITS THE RECOMMENDATIONS THAT WOULD RATION CARE, CHANGE PREMIUMS OR REDUCE MEDICARE BENEFITS.|
|00:01:33||IN SHORT THIS INDEPENDENT BOARD IS ABOUT STRENGTHENING MEDICARE WITH EVIDENCE-BASED DECISION MAKING.|
|00:01:39||WITHOUT INNOVATIVE REFORMS LIKE THE BOARD, MEDICARE'S FUTURE WILL BE PUT IN JEOPARDY, KICKING THIS CAN DOWN THE ROAD ANY FURTHER WILL ONLY BOLSTER THOSE WHO SEEK TO KILL MEDICARE.|
|00:01:48||WE MUST STRENGTHEN MEDICARE, NOT END THE MEDICARE GUARANTEE.|
|00:01:51||THE AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE ACT STRENGTHENS MEDICARE, EXTENDS THE LIFE OF THE TRUST FUND AND HAS ALREADY LOWERED THE COST FOR MILLIONS OF SENIORS.|
|00:01:59||HOWEVER, WITHOUT INNOVATION, OUR CURRENT SYSTEM WILL BE UNSUSTAINABLE FOR OUR NATION'S FAMILIES, BUSINESSES AND TAXPAYERS.|
|00:02:05||THE REPUBLICAN PLAN TO END MEDICARE GUARANTEE IS NO ALTERNATIVE.|
|00:02:09||INNOVATION IS THE ALTERNATIVE.|
|00:02:10||AND I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO SUPPORT THE INDEPENDENT PAYMENT ADVISORY BOARD AND REJECT THIS LEGISLATION.|
|00:02:18||THE CHAIR: THE GENTLEMAN'S TIME HAS EXPIRED.|
|00:02:20||THE GENTLEMAN FROM PENNSYLVANIA.|
Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Mr. Chair, I came to Congress in 1975. Since that time, I've been involved in the debate over national health reform proposals. Throughout these debates, lawmakers struggled with how to control costs without sacrificing quality care. Unfortunately, for decades, Congress chose to kick the can down the road while costs continue to climb and to soar. This trend ended with Affordable Care Act.
For the first time, Congress put in place specific and identifiable measures that will make our health care system more transparent and efficient. This includes the creation of the Independent Payment Advisory Board. This board will be a backstop to ensure that Federal health programs operate efficiently and effectively for both seniors and taxpayers. We need to give these innovations a chance to work. Because without these innovations, there's little hope to get health care costs under control.
Five hundred thirty-five Members of Congress cannot be nor should they be the doctors who think they know best of the practice of every medical field. Five hundred thirty-five Members of Congress are not immune to special interests that have a financial stake in the decisions that are made--not necessarily in the best interest of the seniors, the taxpayers, or the delivery of medicine in this country, but perhaps in the best interest of their companies. That's why the Affordable Act created an independent board of health experts to make the recommendations to improve the system. It does not usurp the role of Congress. It simply acts as a fail-safe in case government spending exceeds benchmarks. Under the law, doctors will retain full authority to recommend the treatments they think are best for patients. The law also prohibits recommendations that would ration care, change premiums, or reduce Medicare benefits.
In short, this independent board is about strengthening Medicare with evidence-based decisionmaking. Without innovative reforms like the board, Medicare's future will be put in jeopardy. Kicking this can down the road any further will only bolster those who seek to kill Medicare. We must strengthen Medicare, not end the Medicare guarantee.
The Affordable Care Act strengthened Medicare. It extended the life of the trust fund and has already lowered costs for millions of seniors. However, without innovation, our current system will be unsustainable for our Nation's families, businesses, and taxpayers.
The Republican plan to end the Medicare guarantee is no alternative. Innovation is the alternative. I urge my colleagues to support the Independent Payment Advisory Board and reject this legislation.