The Honorable Sam Johnson
U.S. House of Representatives
1211 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-4303
Dear Representative Johnson:
On behalf of the 400,000 older Americans RetireSafe represents nationwide, I am pleased to convey our strong endorsement of H.R. 1186, a bill to repeal the changes made by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to the Medicare exception to the prohibition on certain physician referrals to hospitals. This is critical legislation for seniors, and we are proud to support you in this effort.
H.R. 1186 would repeal Section 6001, the provision of the PPACA that effectively bans new physician-owned hospitals; stopped the expansion of existing physician-owned hospitals; and even halted physician hospitals under development, facilities which were not certified by Medicare before the arbitrary deadline of December 31, 2010. Thanks to you and H.R. 1186, these onerous provisions, provisions that keep Medicare beneficiaries from enjoying the finest in medical care, will be repealed.
Older Americans deserve quality choices in Medicare, choices like those consistently offered by physician-owned hospitals. Unfortunately, under Section 6001 of the PPACA, those outstanding facilities and the care they provide are being denied to the very patients who need them most. Seniors seeking the best in cardiovascular and orthopedic care, for example, are kept from some of the highest ranked hospitals under limits erected by the PPACA. Your bill, H.R. 1186, will correct this injustice.
There is a huge irony in the fact that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) will soon be using patient satisfaction scores to help determine how much hospitals will be paid by Medicare. An August 2009 Consumer Reports study which considered the views of over one million patients nationwide showed physician owned and operated hospitals as the very best in the country. Physician hospitals ranked as the number one hospital in 19 states, and near the top in the other states in which they operate. But yet, new physician hospitals are effectively banned under Section 6001 of the PPACA, as is the expansion of these top ranking hospitals, often the highest scoring in patient satisfaction.
Again, RetireSafe strongly endorses H.R. 1186, and we urge your House colleagues to join with you to pass this important legislation into law. H.R 1186 deserves the support of everyone who backs quality health care, individual choice and the very best in Medicare for older Americans. We are committed to seeing H.R. 1186 enacted for every senior, and we are grateful for your leadership to help make that happen.