WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) voted in favor of a bipartisan deal to replace the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), an outdated formula to determine compensation for Medicare providers. The formula has been a recurring issue on Capitol Hill as temporary fixes to protect doctors from reimbursement cuts expire, only to be replaced by another temporary fix. The agreement approved by Congress today will permanently end this cycle, once and for all.
“I supported this deal today because it provides stability to our Medicare system and includes important provisions to help low income seniors and families across the United States. I am pleased that the updated Medicare payment system will reward quality of care over quantity of care and provide a needed emphasis on primary care in our system. The permanent extension of Medicare premium assistance will provide needed help to many seniors in my district that are struggling just to get by. And continued Community Health Center funding means keeping the doors open to the most important health safety net program in this country.
“But with any negotiation, we are forced to take the good with the bad, and this deal is no exception.I am disappointed that Republicans demanded additional costs for higher income seniors, and I willremain steadfast in my opposition to any future attempts by the GOP to impose more costs on low and moderate income seniors. I also stand against Republicans’ backdoor attempt to use this deal to increase restrictions on women’s reproductive rights, which disproportionately harm low income women. And I am disappointed that the extension for the Children’s Health Insurance Program did not include a fix for Arizona’s children, who are unfairly and inexcusably locked out of accessing health care.
“Above all else, we must ensure access to quality health care for every American. The stability this bill creates for our Medicare system, and the benefits it provides for low-income seniors and families, outweigh the clear faults that Republicans included.”