March 26, 2024
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  • What They Are Saying: Dr. Michael C. Burgess Preventive Health Savings Act Would Improve How Congress Estimates the Benefits of Preventive Health Care

    Last week, the House of Representatives advanced by voice vote H.R. 766, The Dr. Michael C. Burgess Preventive Health Savings Act (PHSA), to the Senate. The historic accomplishment marks the first time in history that a bipartisan bill with sole Budget Committee jurisdiction has been brought to the House Floor and passed under suspension of the rules.

    The PHSA, championed by House Budget Committee Health Care Task Force Chair Rep. Burgess (R-TX) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), would create a mechanism under the statute for the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to create budgetary savings estimates of preventive health care legislation over a 30-year budget window, addressing the problem that preventive health care savings often occur outside the standard 10-year budget window.

    H.R. 766 passed by the House Budget Committee by a unanimous vote of 30-0 on February 6, 2024 during a full committee markup.

    During committee markup, Chairman Arrington spearheaded the effort to rename the bill the “Dr. Michael C. Burgess Preventive Health Savings Act” as a tribute to Rep. Burgess’s legacy of service in the House of Representatives. Toward the end of 2023, Rep. Burgess has announced his retirement from Congress after 21 years of service.

    The bill is backed and has been discussed by dozens of stakeholders and experts from across the country, including but not limited to:

    Congressional Budget Office 
    “CBO is well positioned to provide policymakers with analyses of proposals related to preventive health care that examine outcomes over a variety of time horizons and that include information that would be required by H.R. 766.
    That additional information would provide policymakers with a more complete picture of the budgetary effects of preventive health care legislation.”

    53 Stakeholder Groups
    “We believe this legislation represents a significant step toward the goal of including new ideas and tactics to improve care that have proven successful in the private sector, or in health systems abroad that don’t have the same regulatory or budgetary constraints.”

    Bipartisan Policy Center
    “BPC Action commends you for your leadership in introducing and advancing H.R. 766, The Preventive Health Savings Act (PHSA). BPC Action supports this bipartisan effort to better account for the full impact of preventive health care in the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)…

    BPC Action applauds your commitment to this issue and urges Congress to pass the Preventive Health Savings Act.”

    American Medical Association 
    “We believe this legislation represents a significant step towards providing Congress with the means to obtain a more relevant long-term economic picture of the benefits of legislation to prevent chronic diseases.”

    Community Oncology Alliance 
    “The limitation of the 10-year scoring window is a severe obstacle to realizing the savings from preventive health care legislation. It is unrealistic to expect that many, if not most, preventative health care initiatives can return positive savings by 10 years. As a result of the current scoring mandate on the Congressional Budget Office, many, if not most, preventative health care initiatives are not implemented because of funding constraints.

    As a result, COA supports the passage of H.R. 766, and we greatly appreciate your work and that of your staff in the landmark advancement of this legislation out of your committee.”

    Healthcare Leadership Council 
    “HLC has long championed the transition of the U.S. healthcare system from an emphasis on volume towards patient-centered, value-based care. Improving access to preventive health services and factoring these investments into budget scoring are critical elements to reducing healthcare spending and improving patient health outcomes.

    Passage of H.R. 766 is needed to allow Congress to see the full savings of enacting prevention-focused legislation and is an important step to addressing the chronic disease epidemic.”

    Council on Affordable Health Coverage 
    “We write to express our support for H.R. 766, the Dr. Michael C. Burgess Preventive Health Savings Act because it will begin to change how Congress views preventing health illnesses before they become expensive chronic conditions.

    The Preventive Health Savings Act will permit leaders in Congress to request that CBO estimate the long-term health savings that are possible from preventive health 

    The Society of Thoracic Surgeons
    On behalf of STS, I would like to thank you for introducing H.R. 766/S. 114, the Preventive Health Savings Act. This important legislation would direct the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to reflect the long-term, cost-saving potential of preventive healthcare initiatives more accurately.”

    American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery 
    “AAO-HNS strongly endorses H.R. 766 the “Preventive Health Savings Act”. This bill requires the CBO, upon receiving a request from Congress, to determine if proposed legislation would reduce spending outside of the 10-year budget window through the use of preventive health and preventive health services.”

    Academy of Doctors of Audiology 
    “On behalf of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA), I write today to express our members’ strong support for H.R. 766, the Dr. Michael C. Burgess Preventive Health Savings Act. As an organization dedicated to representing and advocating for audiologists and their patients across the nation, we believe that this bill is a crucial step toward ensuring fair and accurate scoring of legislation that impacts healthcare access and affordability, particularly for Medicare beneficiaries.”

    Village MD 
    “VillageMD would like to express our strong support for the passage of H.R. 766, the Dr. Michael C. Burgess Preventive Health Savings Act. This bipartisan legislation would require the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), upon the request of the Chairman and Ranking Member of both the budget committee and the primary committee of jurisdiction in either the House or Senate, to produce an estimate of the effects of preventive health legislation over a 30-year period.”

    Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
    “It is entirely possible that in a case like Hepatitis C, where pharmaceutical drugs are capable of curing the disease while eliminating the need for high-cost liver transplants, the costs of screening and treating would ultimately save the federal government more than it would cost over the long term. Under this legislation, CBO would have a broader mandate to figure that out and report out to policymakers. 

    We applaud the Congressional efforts to increase CBO’s ability to provide more information in their estimates.”