5:53 PM EDT

Gus Bilirakis, R-FL 12th

Mr. BILIRAKIS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of a bill I am proud to sponsor with my friends--Representative Kelly, who is the lead sponsor, and Representative Kind--H.R. 2505, the Medicare Advantage Coverage Transparency Act.

Fifteen million Americans choose Medicare Advantage. By all accounts, Medicare Advantage has been successful for its enrollees, including those I represent. Similarly, approximately 37 million seniors chose part D as of 2014. Over 1,000 Medicare part D plans are offered nationwide, and the program has continued to grow in popularity and be well under its initial budget projections. I think Medicare part D is one of the greatest programs in the history of the Congress.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Office of Legislation used to issue reports on the Medicare Advantage and part D enrollment data for each congressional district; however, in 2012, they stopped issuing these [Page: H4485]

reports. Why? It is now 2015, and they have still not provided this data.

Information is valuable to legislators and health researchers. The more information we have about how a program is working, the better decisions we can make. Currently, enrollment data for Medicare Advantage and part D come from third-party sources; however, it is time for CMS to continue to do its job and provide this information.

As I said earlier, by all accounts from third parties, both Medicare Advantage and part D are successful programs and, of course, as is traditional Medicare. These programs are used by so many seniors, Mr. Speaker. They are keeping our seniors healthier and saving them money.

This is a good government bill, and I am hopeful for a strong, bipartisan vote.

5:53 PM EDT

Gus Bilirakis, R-FL 12th

Mr. BILIRAKIS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of a bill I am proud to sponsor with my friends--Representative Kelly, who is the lead sponsor, and Representative Kind--H.R. 2505, the Medicare Advantage Coverage Transparency Act.

Fifteen million Americans choose Medicare Advantage. By all accounts, Medicare Advantage has been successful for its enrollees, including those I represent. Similarly, approximately 37 million seniors chose part D as of 2014. Over 1,000 Medicare part D plans are offered nationwide, and the program has continued to grow in popularity and be well under its initial budget projections. I think Medicare part D is one of the greatest programs in the history of the Congress.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Office of Legislation used to issue reports on the Medicare Advantage and part D enrollment data for each congressional district; however, in 2012, they stopped issuing these [Page: H4485]

reports. Why? It is now 2015, and they have still not provided this data.

Information is valuable to legislators and health researchers. The more information we have about how a program is working, the better decisions we can make. Currently, enrollment data for Medicare Advantage and part D come from third-party sources; however, it is time for CMS to continue to do its job and provide this information.

As I said earlier, by all accounts from third parties, both Medicare Advantage and part D are successful programs and, of course, as is traditional Medicare. These programs are used by so many seniors, Mr. Speaker. They are keeping our seniors healthier and saving them money.

This is a good government bill, and I am hopeful for a strong, bipartisan vote.

5:55 PM EDT

Kevin Brady, R-TX 8th

Mr. BRADY of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.

I appreciate the leadership of Mr. Kelly, Mr. Bilirakis, and Mr. Kind from Wisconsin, who together, Republicans and Democrats, crossed committees and recognized the need for openness.

Knowledge is power. Knowledge of Medicare Advantage and who is receiving it in whose district we think is very important to strengthening Medicare as an entire program going forward.

I urge support for this legislation, and I yield back the balance of my time.