Lawmakers Backing H.R. 1717 Grows to 175

Bidding replacement bill adds four more lawmakers in opening weeks of May.

Four more lawmakers have co-sponsored H.R. 1717, the bill that would replace competitive bidding with the industry’s market pricing program, bringing the bill’s total number of backers to 175.

The bill, introduced into the House by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) in April 2013, enjoyed an initial surge but has been gaining co-sponsors in fits and starts in recent months. The latest four are the first Representatives to back the bill since Febuary; they are:

  • Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.)
  • Rep. Corrine  Brown (D-Fla.)
  • Rep. Vicky  Hartzler (R-Mo.)
  • Rep. Tim  Walberg (R-Mich.)

Two of the new co-sponsors, Reps. Brown and Hartzler, were picked up in the wake of the American Association for Homecare’s Washington Legislative Conference, which was held May 6-8 in Washington, D.C. There, providers lobbied lawmakers and staff on behalf of the bill and other industry agenda items, such as audits, on Capitol Hill.

“You can't underestimate the power of meeting with your legislators and staff. It's all about relationship building," said Cara Bachenheimer, senior vice president of government relations for DME maker Invacare Corp. “Visiting your legislators in their D.C. office is critical to putting together the name, the face, and the impact you have in your community.”

Since the event, AAHomecare has been urging Washington Legislative Conference attendees to follow-up with Congressional staff to ensure their support of the bill.

 “Now that you’re home, it’s important that you follow up on these important meetings, and contact the staff or member of Congress that you met with,” said Jay Witter, AAHomecare’s senior vice president of Public Policy, in a video statement. “Thank them for taking time to meeting with you, but also follow up on any issues that you discussed during the meeting.

Watch the video here:

About the Author

David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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