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December 12, 2019

Fixed! House votes to fix Medicare screening colonoscopy loophole

Vote marks the first action by Congress on fixing the Medicare screening colonoscopy coinsurance issue since AGA began advocating on the issue nearly nine years ago.
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Today the House passed legislation that would fix the Medicare screening colonoscopy coinsurance loophole that leaves beneficiaries responsible for the coinsurance when their screening colonoscopy turns therapeutic. AGA, together with our sister societies and the patient community, have long sought a fix to this problem and protect patients from this ‘surprise bill,” and waive the coinsurance regardless of the outcome of the initial screening. We applaud the House for taking this first step toward protecting Medicare beneficiaries and ensuring that they will no longer face financial barriers to lifesaving colorectal cancer screenings.

The fix was part of H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, legislation that seeks to lower the costs that Americans pay for prescription drugs in part by capping their out-of-pocket costs and allowing Medcare to negotiate the costs of prescription drugs with manufacturers. The bill passed largely on a party-line vote and faces an uncertain future in the Senate where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, has stated he will not allow a vote on the bill.

We are still pushing Congress to fix the screening colonoscopy loophole before the end of the year and we need your help. Help us get this bill over the finish line before the end of the year by asking Congress to complete its work and protect Medicare beneficiaries from financial barriers to colorectal cancer screenings.

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