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Congressman Gus Bilirakis

Representing the 12th District of Florida

Bilirakis Fights to Preserve Medicare

November 3, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC:  Today the House passed the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2017, which Congressman Bilirakis enthusiastically supported. While many scare tactics have been employed in a misinformation campaign, the House remains committed to preserving this important program, with no changes for current participants or those who are set to enroll in the near future. This bill specifically eliminates the Independent Payment and Advisory Board (IPAB) which is an un-elected Board that was created as part of Obamacare to cut Medicare payments to providers (hospitals & doctors). To date, the IPAB Board has never been called upon to make such cuts, therefore the bill is revenue neutral. 

Countless independent studies have shown that reform is needed in order to ensure Medicare’s long-term sustainability. I support a bi-partisan study commission which will make recommendations about how to best achieve that goal while protecting seniors and vulnerable populations. Despite political rhetoric, all members of Congress (Republican and Democrat) understand the importance of Medicare and will work to ensure that it remains solvent for years to come. However, any future changes that might be needed in the Medicare program should be carefully considered by Congress, not an IPAB Board, to ensure seniors are not adversely impacted,  said Congressman Bilirakis.

Congressman Bilirakis has a long history of championing efforts to help preserve Medicare.  He sponsored a bill to increase civil and criminal penalties for Medicare fraud.  Many of these penalties have not been updated in over 20 years. Cracking down on fraud and abuse will help ensure solvency of the program for future generations.  The Congressman also sponsored the Drug Management Program for At-Risk Beneficiaries which was signed into law earlier this year.  This provision also cracked down on fraud and abuse within Medicare.  Additionally, he has introduced legislation to tackle the issue of high drug prices. Congressman Bilirakis worked closely on a provision passed as part of the FDA Reauthorization Act mirroring his drug cost legislation, which would accelerate the generic drug approval process and encourage generic drug makers to enter markets where there is no competition. Too often, bad actors in the marketplace take advantage of monopolies, skyrocketing the price of lifesaving medication simply because there is little to no competition.  While the high costs of drugs impact all Americans and the healthcare system as a whole, it also burdens  Medicare. Congressman Bilirakis will continue to work on the sustainability of the Medicare program.