H.R. 1717 Gains 31 Backers
Number of MPP legislation’s co-sponsors swells to 96 lawmakers with more to come.
- By David Kopf
- May 28, 2013
The number of Congressional representatives backing legislation that would replace competitive bidding with the market pricing program (MPP) has jumped to 96 co-sponsors, with more waiting in the wings.
As providers took to Capitol Hill to engage in legislative meetings with members of Congress and their staff last week, the official count of law makers backing H.R. 1717, the MPP bill, had grown by 31 representatives.
The meetings were part of the American Association for Homecare’s annual Washington Legislative Conference, which ran from May 22-23, and the top agenda item was getting enough co-sponsors (ideally at least 231) for the Medicare DMEPOS Market Pricing Program Act of 2013, which was introduced by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.). Price, a longtime industry advocate, also spoke at the event.
Last week’s new H.R. 1717 backers included:
- Rep. Peter J. Visclosky (Ind.)
- Rep. Bobby L. Rush (Ill.)
- Rep. Jo Bonner (Ala.)
- Rep. Thomas J. Rooney (Fla.)
- Rep. Timothy H. Bishop (N.Y.)
- Rep. Howard Coble (N.C.)
- Rep. Niki Tsongas (Mass.)
- Rep. Lee Terry (Neb.)
- Rep. Tim Murphy (Pa.)
- Rep. Harold Rogers (Ky.)
- Rep. Phil Gingrey (Ga.)
- Rep. Jim Matheson (Utah)
- Rep. Jeff Miller (Fla.)
- Rep. Thomas Massie (Ky.)
- Rep. Richard B. Nugent (Fla.)
- Rep. Tammy Duckworth (Ill.)
- Rep. Tim Griffin (Ark.)
- Rep. Michael H. Michaud (Maine)
- Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio)
- Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.)
- Rep. Steven M. Palazzo (Miss.)
- Rep. William R. Keating (Mass.)
- Rep. Pete Olson (Texas)
- Rep. Mike J. Rogers (Mich.)
- Rep. Ed Whitfield (Ky.)
- Rep. Joe Wilson (S.C.)
- Rep. Dennis A. Ross (Fla.)
- Rep. Henry C. "Hank Johnson " Jr.
- Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.)
- Rep. Patrick Meehan (Pa.)
- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (N.J.)
The number of H.R. 1717 could swell past 100 this week, as there reportedly are a number of backers that did not make the official count of co-sponsors before the Memorial Day recess.
That news should encourage providers and other industry constituents closely monitoring the bill’s progress, which has so far has shown a speedy pace of growing support. Over the course of a little more than four weeks, the bill went from 25 co-sponsors, then gained 19 more to bring the total to 44 in the second week, an additional 21 co-sponsors in its third week, and then last week’s 31 — and possibly more — backers to push the total to 96.
While the bill is showing excellent progress, AAHomecare President and CEO Tyler Wilson reminded providers attending the legislative conference, as well as providers lobbying into this week and the next, that they must keep pushing for support in no uncertain terms.
“One of the basic rights guaranteed under the constitution is the right to petition government,” he told attendees. “It is your right. It’s not something you have to be apologetic about. We know the correctness of our position.”
Moreover, Wilson recognized the timing element of the fight to support H.R. 1717. With Round Two of competitive bidding nearing its target implementation date of July 1 in a little over 30 days, they must continue their efforts through the Memorial Day recess and beyond.
“So go in there with the confidence of conviction that we are on the right side of the issue,” he added. “Time is short and we have a lot of legislators that need convincing.”
David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.