House Passes Medicare ‘Doc Fix’ Bill

Apr 1, 2015

House Passes Medicare ‘Doc Fix’ Bill

After a decade of short-term patches, the House enacted legislation that Rep. Levin coauthored to reform and improve the way we reimburse Medicare physicians.  The new system transitions Medicare away from a volume-based system towards one that rewards value and improves the quality of care for seniors.  The bill also includes a number of provisions to improve and extend critical health programs, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Community Health Centers, and the Qualifying Individuals Program, which helps make Medicare Part B premiums more affordable for low-income seniors.

The House approved H.R. 2 by a vote of 392-37.  The Senate is expected to take up the measure in April.

 

Rep. Levin Cosponsors Bill to Curb Use of Antibiotics on Healthy Animals

A full 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in the United States are used on farms, where they are fed mostly to healthy animals as a means to compensate for unsanitary and overcrowded conditions.  This habitual misuse of antibiotics has been linked to the growing risk of antimicrobial-resistant infections (commonly referred to as superbugs) in humans. With a limited supply of antibiotics, something has to change or superbugs, that are resistant to our own medicine, could inadvertently be created.

Rep. Levin joined 18 other Members of Congress in cosponsoring the “Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act” [H.R. 1522].  This bill would preserve the effectiveness of medically important antibiotics by phasing out the use of eight critical classes of antibiotics in healthy food animals.

 

Lawmakers Seek to Close Safe Drinking Water Loophole

Rep. Levin recently joined other concerned House members in cosponsoring the “Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act.”  The legislation seeks to address the threat to drinking water supplies posed by hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) in which drilling companies inject a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into underground rock formations to blast them open and release natural gas.  The injected fluids may contain a variety of chemicals, such as benzene, toluene, methanol and formaldehyde. 

The FRAC Act closes the so-called “Halliburton loophole” in current law by requiring the disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, allowing for transparency and compliance with federal chemical ground-injection laws and ensuring that the process is compliant with the Safe Drinking Water Act. 

 

Rep. Levin Works to Ensure that Social Security Beneficiaries Receive their Earned Benefits

For most Americans, Social Security is the heart of economic security.   Rep. Levin recently joined several colleagues in sending a letter to a key House committee urging robust funding for the Social Security Administration (SSA), the organization responsible for delivering Social Security benefits to more than 64 million Americans.  With the aging of the Baby Boomers, the number of Americans receiving Social Security has grown by more than 10 million over the past decade, yet SSA has less funding for operating costs today than it had in 2010, and Americans across the country are paying the price.