Special to the Laredo Sun
WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the bipartisan Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which included specific language added by Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX28). The language addition would prevent the inappropriate use of quality measures to ensure patients and healthcare professionals have the assurance they deserve, so they no longer need to fear undue legal issues regarding allegations of medical negligence. The legislation will now be sent to the Senate.
“The House of Representative sent a strong message today by passing this bill in a timely and bipartisan fashion and including the provision I added to protect Texas doctors and patients,” Congressman Cuellar said. “The passage of today’s legislation will permanently fix the flawed sustainable growth program, will ensure state medical malpractice liability laws are not adversely impacted by the federal government, and will ensure community health centers have proper funding –all wins for Texas patients and doctors.”
Today’s passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act in the House of Representatives would permanently replace an 18-year-old formula for reimbursing doctors and expands funding for Community Health Centers by $7.2 billion for two years. This ensures that vital community-based and patient-directed health centers that serve populations with limited access to health care will have HHS funding through FY2017. Without passage of this important bill, access to health care for millions of people would be lost.
The legislation also extends funding and secures the health of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for two more years. CHIP has been a priority of Cuellar’s since his time in the Texas state legislature when he started the first CHIP pilot program in Laredo.
Cuellar’s additions mark passage of his years-long effort to ensure legal standards of care established by state laws and state courts are protected from the infringement of the federal government.
Click HERE for a printable version of the bill’s fact sheet from Democratic House Leadership.