House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) delivered the following opening statement at a hearing entitled "Identifying Innovative Practices and Technology in Health Care."
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Remarks as prepared for delivery:
"Good Morning Everyone.
"Throughout the past couple of decades, we have seen innovation transform the way we look at health care technology and delivery.
"In the Medicare program, many of these cutting-edge ideas have failed to been used to their full potential. In turn, our seniors are not able to benefit from greater efficiency, access and increased positive outcomes in receiving health care.
"Even worse, while some Americans already have access to these groundbreaking models, they are at risk of losing their pathway to receiving this care once they turn the age of 65. In fact, it is not out-of-line to say that we are missing an opportunity to save lives with these advanced treatment methods.
"Today's hearing is the second in a series on looking at these innovations in the health care sector.
"We will hear from witnesses on how they are disrupting the status quo by doing things that haven't been done before. These witnesses appearing before the Committee have all in their own way looked at the current state of things and have said "we can be better' in their various fields.
"Whether it is providing access to better, more wholistic treatments or increasing efficiencies that inevitably lower costs, I am truly excited to hear from our witnesses on how they can help both improve and modernize the Medicare program and in turn increase its sustainability.
"The lesson we hope to learn here will be how Congress can help. Can we help both advance and expand upon these front-line advancements, while also leading to a new wave of innovators unleashed on the status-quo?
"In doing so we can equip our Medicare beneficiaries with the tools to benefit from pioneer ideas. We need to start implementing policies that open the door to these potentially life-saving medical devices, drugs, and delivery methods in the Medicare program.
"It is well past time that our Medicare system be brought into the 21st century. Continuing to fiddle at the edges of an aging health care delivery model can only do so much, we need to start having conversations about transformative modernization. I hope that today's hearing can continue this important conversation."