Press Release ● Health Care
For Immediate Release: 
March 19, 2021
Contact Info: 
Margaret Mulkerrin 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in support of H.R.1868, legislation to prevent cuts to Medicare:

“When Democrats worked to pass the statutory PAYGO law and to implement the House PAYGO rule, we made it clear that efforts to address national emergencies are exempt, writing that into the law.  Faced with a crisis, Congress must have the flexibility to respond.  There is no question that the crisis we face now with COVID-19 and the need to build back better from this pandemic is precisely the kind of emergency that PAYGO proponents had in mind then and still do now.  Providing relief to struggling Americans, getting our children back into a safe classroom setting, helping businesses reopen safely, and supporting vaccination and testing efforts are the kind of necessary policy responses that PAYGO’s flexible emergency exemption allows.  However, because the Senate’s byzantine rules for reconciliation prevented including the emergency exemption language within the American Rescue Plan, House Democrats are voting today to remove any question that this once-in-a-century event could be used by Republicans to force cuts to Medicare, farm supports, and other programs through sequestration.  I hope Republicans will resist that temptation, just as they did four years ago after their tax scam bill triggered the same PAYGO sequester when it added more than $1.5 trillion to deficits in order to gift tax cuts to the wealthy.
“I hope, too, that Republicans will vote to prevent the separate 2% Medicare cut looming at the end of the month, a cut they demanded in past Budget Control Act negotiations.  Certainty for health care providers is crucial to confronting the demands on our delivery system at such a critical phase in beating this pandemic.
“Moving H.R. 1868 through the legislative process quickly and sending it to President Biden to be signed into law is not only the responsible thing to do; it is essential.  I thank Chairmen Yarmuth, Neal, Pallone, and Scott for leading the effort to pass this bill, and I strongly support its swift adoption.”