Rep. Phil Gingrey, M.D., today introduced the bipartisan Standard of Care Protection Act and the State Flexibility Act, health care legislation aimed at protecting patient access to quality care.
Standard of Care Protection Act - H.R. 1473
Rep. Gingrey reintroduced this legislation to safeguard the physician-patient relationship and to protect medical providers from federal health care laws. This legislation provides that lawsuits cannot be brought against health care providers based simply on whether he or she followed national guidelines created by the health care law.
"The Standard of Care Protection Act would ensure that federal laws like Obamacare do not potentially change the way that health care providers practice medicine or treat patients," Gingrey said. "This bill reinforces my belief that medical decisions must be made between patients and their doctors. The practice of medicine is not one-size-fits all. It must be protected from policies or rules that may threaten a physician's ability to treat patients according to their specific needs."
This Congress, the legislation also includes protections against Medicare and Medicaid rules. While the bill makes clear that care standards and guidelines detailed in federal health care laws cannot be used to create new causes of legal action against physicians, it also specifies they do not supersede state liability laws.
State Flexibility Act - H.R. 1472
Rep. Gingrey also reintroduced the State Flexibility Act, which removes federal handcuffs on state Medicaid funds, enacted by the 2009 stimulus and President Obama's health care law. Under these current restrictions, governors are unable to restructure their programs or strengthen verification methods. The legislation was originally introduced in the 112th Congress in response to bipartisan requests from governors to have Maintenance of Effort (MOE) requirements on states lifted.
"Under Obamacare, access to quality care is threatened, especially for Medicaid patients," Gingrey said. "Medicaid expansion, coupled with rising poverty levels, will decrease patient access even more. Given that the most vulnerable in our society rely on it for health care, safeguards must be put in place to protect current patients and ensure it remains intact for future generations."
Medicaid is the largest unfunded entitlement program in the United States. The current economic situation threatens our states, children, and job creation. With the new Medicaid requirements in PPACA, the weight of millions more Medicaid patients threaten state budgets even further. The State Flexibility Act would allow governors to manage Medicaid enrollment in a way that meets the needs of citizens and keeps their budgets balanced.