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Rep. John Lewis' Statement at Ways and Means Committee Markup of ESRD Medicare Advantage Legislation

"Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  Thank you, Mr. Levin.  I would like to express my support for H.R. 5659, the ESRD Choice Act.  This legislation is based on a bill that I introduced for many years, and it is an issue that is near and dear to my heart.

"Since 2000, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has recommended that Congress allow beneficiaries with End-Stage Renal Disease access to Medicare Advantage (M.A.).  These M.A. plans offer better care coordination than fee-for-service.  They can also result in lower cost sharing, which would be an invaluable benefit for many living with kidney disease.  Under this bill, those who develop kidney failure will finally receive fair and equal access to M.A. plans.  This is the same opportunity offered to every other person receiving Medicare benefits.

"Again, I would like to thank the Chairman, the Ranking Member, the Members of the Committee, and all the staff for their good work on this important issue.  It is the just and right thing to do.  And with this, Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.  Thank you."

Video of Congressman Lewis' statement can be found by clicking here.