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Opinion: To pay for Medicare SGR repeal, build on bipartisan healthcare policy

Health Affairs, February 21, 2014

Something unexpected is happening in Washington. As most eyes track partisan battles over immigration and the Affordable Care Act, key Congressional committees have been quietly advancing truly bipartisan legislation to strengthen Medicare. Since 2002, an outdated Medicare cost control called the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) has repeatedly threatened drastic Medicare provider cuts. After a decade of temporary fixes, SGR repeal appears within reach. A bipartisan, bicameral agreement by key Congressional leaders announced on February 6, 2014 goes a step further by pairing repeal with bipartisan reforms that pay physicians for the quality and value of care they deliver, not the number of tests and procedures they order.