H.R. 3790: One Co-Sponsor Shy
Meek Bill at 215 of 216 co-sponsors; with Meek added, Bill could win a House vote.
- By David Kopf
- Apr 23, 2010
HME industry efforts to garner enough co-sponsors for H.R. 3790, the bill introduced by Rep. Kendrick Meek (D.-Fla.) that calls for the repeal of CMS’s national competitive bidding program, are nearly there, but there is still work to be done to beat NCB.
The Meek bill has garnered 12 additional co-sponsors this week, putting it at 215 of the 216 co-sponsors needed (the total number slightly down from 218, due to vacancies within the House).
However adding Meek would bring the Bill’s total supporters to 216, which would be enough to pass H.R. 3790 if it were put to a vote, notes, said Michael Reinemer, vice president of communications and policy for American Association for Homecare.
Co-sponsors for this week include:
- Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.)
- Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-Calif.)
- Rep. Deborah L. Halvorson (D-Ill.)
- Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)
- Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.)
- Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.)
- Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn.)
- Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas)
- Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.)
- Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.)
- Rep. Thomas E. Petri (R-Wis.)
- Rep. Phil Hare (D-Ill.)
“Rep. Kendrick Meek’s bill has already set a record of sorts for the HME sector by surpassing other bills championed by the HME sector in recent years,” said Michael Reinemer, vice president of communications and policy for American Association for Homecare.
Reinemer noted several strong industry efforts that H.R. 3790’s efforts passed up. The Medicare Durable Medical Equipment Access Act of 2005 (Hobson-Tanner bill), H.R. 3559, attracted 151 cosponsors in the 109th Congress, and the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment Access Act of 2007 (Tanner-Hobson bill), H.R. 1845, garnered 168 cosponsors in the 110th Congress (plus a companion bill in the Senate). Both of those bills would have modified, not repealed, the bidding program, he noted.
Also, the Home Oxygen Patient Protection Act of 2006, H.R. 5513, garnered 84 cosponsors in the 109h Congress, and the Home Oxygen Patient Protection Act of 2007, H.R. 621, introduced in the 110th Congress, won 143 cosponsors.
“I got both a chuckle and a great sense of satisfaction in knowing that it is my home congressman who has put us over the top,” said John Shirvinsky, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of Medical Suppliers. “More importantly, we’re not done recruiting cosponsors and neither are any of the other state associations. Our industry is really pulling together to get this job done. We all know that our very survival is on the line and I believe that Congress is finally understanding the reality of that.”
“Tthe problem is getting the legislation to the House floor in some bill that will get approved before the 111th Congress ends this fall,” Reinemer added. “And we still have no bill in the Senate. So we are thrilled that the HME sector has achieved this milestone, but we need to redouble efforts to get more cosponsors, put pressure on House leadership to champion the bill, and line up support in the Senate.”
David Kopf is the Editor of HME Business.