by Robert E. Moffit
The Heritage Foundation
March 14, 2014
Congress is considering compromise legislation (H.R. 4015 and S. 2000) to repeal and replace the unworkable Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula for updating physician payments. Since 2003, Congress has prevented its own 1997 formula from going into effect because the often draconian Medicare physician payment cuts would threaten seniors’ access to care. The Heritage Foundation and many others have long sought a repeal and replacement of the SGR as part of a broader effort to reform the financially troubled Medicare program. While the legislation now scheduled for floor debate would establish much-needed stability in Medicare physician reimbursement, it does not significantly reverse the trend—accelerated by Obamacare—toward greater federal control over medical practice. Worse, neither the House bill nor the Senate legislation would be financed in a way to protect taxpayers from higher deficit spending.

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