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Westerman Votes For SGR Repeal, Balanced Budget

March 26, 2015
Press Release


WASHINGTON – Congressman Bruce Westerman (R-Hot Springs) voted Thursday to repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), saving taxpayers nearly $70 billion and ensuring that doctors continue providing coverage to Medicare recipients.

“The repeal of the SGR is essential to making Medicare a sustainable program for the long run,” Westerman said. “The repeal keeps the Congress from continuing its long-standing tradition of passing temporary fixes for this program and instead puts forward a permanent solution that benefits patients and doctors, not to mention the American taxpayer.

“Repealing the SGR will not only help in recruiting of primary care and specialty physicians across the Fourth District, Arkansas, and the United States, but it will also help with physician retention.  Recruiting additional doctors and keeping those doctors in practice is essential to give senior citizens access to care.

“Repeal of the SGR is also essential to easing some of the damage done to Medicare by Obamacare. This will be the first positive reform to mandatory spending requirements in decades but more changes need to happen. We accomplish this by a reduction in mandatory spending and making programs like Medicare solvent for the long-term.

“It is my hope that the Senate will act swiftly to pass the SGR repeal before March 31.”

Should the Senate not pass the SGR repeal by Tuesday (March 31), reimbursements to doctors providing treatment to Medicare patients could drop by 21 percent.

The bill also extends the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through 2017 while at the same time securing an additional two years of payments under the Secure Rural Schools Program.

Westerman also commented Thursday on his service on the House Budget Committee the passage of the committee’s budget in the House, noting that the bill produces $5.5 trillion in savings over the next ten years.

“I am pleased to have represented the 4th District and Arkansas on the House Budget Committee.  This budget balances in nine years, produces trillions in savings, increases defense spending, and enacts workforce requirements for able-bodied, working age adults receiving government assistance,” Westerman noted. “By approving this budget, the House has sent a clear message that the days of reckless spending in Washington are numbered. It is my hope that the Senate can quickly pass a budget and both chambers can swiftly move through reconciliation.”