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Roskam Priorities Included in Ways and Means Hospitals Package

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Today, Congressman Peter Roskam hailed the release of the Ways and Means Committee Hospitals Improvements for Payment Act of 2014 discussion draft, which includes two Roskam-led bills.

H.R. 4187,The Developing an Innovative Strategy for Antimicrobial Resistant Microorganisms (DISARM) Act seeks to spur the development of new drugs to combat antibiotic resistant infections by modernizing how Medicare views these select drugs and reimbursing their use at cost. Removing the financial barrier to the use of high-powered antibiotics ensures a functioning market for their use, helping to reinvigorate the pipeline of new drugs in development. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year, more than 2 million people suffer these so-called superbug infections and 23,000 die as a result.

"The rapid increase in antibiotic resistance coupled with the lack of drug treatments currently available or in development has us hurtling into a post-antibiotic era," said Roskam. "In order to combat antibiotic resistance, which the CDC classified as our nation's number one public health threat, we must modernize our healthcare system and repair the broken market for these miracle drugs. DISARM seeks to lure companies back into research and development and ensure the next generation of antibiotics are available to fight the rapidly evolving threat of superbugs before it is too late."

H.R. 2053, The Medicare Hospital Wage Index Equity Act of 2013 repeals the "Bay State Boondoggle," a provision in the health care law sponsored by then-Massachusetts Senator John Kerry that requires Medicare reimbursements to come from a national pool of money instead of a set amount for each state. Under the new payment formula, reimbursement rates for Massachusetts have skyrocketed because of one small Nantucket hospital with high reimbursement rates that set the minimum payment for the entire state. Last year, Massachusetts received $256 million in payments, while Illinois hospitals lost more than $60 million.

"John Kerry's sweetheart deal in Obamacare is costing states across the country millions of dollars in Medicare payments," said Roskam. "Obamacare is littered with special interest carve outs, winners and losers--and quite frankly, disastrous and dangerous policies. These bad policies, from the Cornhusker Kickback to the Louisiana Purchase, Gator Aid, and the Bay State Boondoggle were included to buy Obamacare votes, and it's past time we should eliminate them. The American people deserve better than a healthcare law that was purposefully written to deceive them and bankrupt their hospitals."

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