On April 16, 2015, President Obama officially signed H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015, into law. Obama spoke to reporters about health care before signing the legislation, describing the bill as a smart and common sense bipartisan agreement. Read more about the legislation, including the earlier Senate vote, in our previous Advocacy Now article here.
“This was a bipartisan effort,” Obama stated, adding he hoped the practice of Republicans and Democrats working together would become a habit on Capitol Hill. “Because we wanted to make sure doctors’ payments didn’t get cut off, I'm signing it now.”
On April 21, Obama held a reception in the Rose Garden for physician groups and legislators who helped pass the legislation. AAOS Medical Director Will Shaffer, MD and Executive Director of AAKHS Mike Zarski were in attendance along with Rep. Michael Burgess, MD (R-TX), House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. Steney Hoyer (D-MD), Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), and Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew.
“Today we’ve shown there is common ground for entitlement reform without tax increases on hardworking Americans,” Boehner stated after the event. “Now we have to build on this common ground to do what needs to be done to save our entitlement programs and solve our spending problem. There is certainly a long way to go, but this is a good step in the right direction. It will help seniors have better access to their doctors, encourage patients to think more like consumers, and save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars for decades to come. It was a privilege to be in the Rose Garden today on behalf of the many Americans who spoke out for getting this done.”
Watch Obama’s speech at the Rose Garden reception below: