Rep. Huffman Votes to Strengthen Medicare & Renew Critical Program for Rural Counties
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) released the following statement today after voting for the bipartisan Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2), which repeals Medicare’s flawed Sustainable Growth Rate formula, extends the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and renews the Secure Rural Schools program:
“This bill strengthens Medicare by repealing the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate formula, eliminating the longstanding possibility that doctors might take major cuts and leave the program—a threat that plagued the Medicare program for decades. It also extends the vital Children’s Health Insurance Program through 2017, without which 2 million children would become uninsured and more still would face higher costs.
“I also worked hard to ensure the reinstatement of the Secure Rural Schools program, a major accomplishment for rural counties throughout the United States. The Secure Rural Schools program is vital to many of the counties I represent—they rely on these funds to provide basic services to their residents, like supporting public schools and roads.
“In passing this bill, Congress enhanced the health of our nation and proved that it is capable of working across the aisle to produce solid, bipartisan bills that help the American people. The bill certainly isn’t perfect, but I’ve never seen a perfect bill, and I’m glad the House leadership on both sides of the aisle recognized the need for compromise.”
Huffman secured a renewal of the Secure Rural Schools program, which expired last September due to Congressional inaction, in today’s legislative package. Since National Forest land cannot be taxed by counties or states, for more than 100 years the U.S. Forest Service has shared revenues from timber harvests on federal lands with the nearby communities. SRS sends funds to more than 700 counties and 4,000 school districts across the nation. California is one of the top recipients of SRS funds.
California’s SRS payments totaled $32.7 million in FY 2013, and payments to counties in Huffman’s 2nd Congressional District totaled more than $5.7 million:
- Del Norte County: $1,217,621
- Trinity County: $3,286,334
- Humboldt County: $935,964
- Mendocino County: $307,490