Binding Bids Bills Gains More Co-Sponsors
House legislation boasts 59 backers, while Senate companion hovers at 5 signers.
- By David Kopf
- Mar 12, 2015
Legislation that would reform competitive bidding continue to make gains in Congress, but industry advocates are calling on HME providers to lobby their lawmakers so that the legislation can be brought to a vote.
The Medicare Competitive Bidding Improvement Act (MCBIA), which comprises House and Senate bills that were launched as the 114th Congress began at the start of the year, would nix suicide bidding by requiring bidders in the Round Two re-compete and all future bids to obtain surety bonds that force them to accept bidding contracts. If a bidder declines a contract that is at or above its bid amount, the bidder forfeits the bond.
The House bill, H.R. 284, was introduced by Reps. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) and John Larson (D-Conn.), who are both members of the House Ways and Means Committee. Since HMEB’s last update, the bill picked up an additional 14 co-sponsors since our last update, brining its total number of backers to 59. The latest lawmakers to sign on are:
- Rep. Robert E. Latta (Ohio)
- Rep. Ron Kind (Wis.)
- Rep. Rod Blum (Iowa)
- Rep. Bobby L. Rush (Ill.)
- Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.)
- Rep. John Lewis (Ga.)
- Rep. Tom Price (Ga.)
- Rep. Todd C. Young (Ind.)
- Rep. Keith J. Rothfus (Pa.)
- Rep. Robert B. Aderholt (Ala.)
- Rep. Tom Reed (N.Y.)
- Rep. Ed Perlmutter (Colo.)
- Rep. Ed Whitfield (Ky.)
- Rep. David Young (Iowa)
The Senate bill, S.148, which was launched into the upper chamber by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) — both members of the Senate Finance Committee — has lagged behind its House companion considerably. That said, the bill picked up one more co-sponsor, Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa), bringing its total to five backers.
The American Association for Homecare called on providers to help back the bill by pitching in and reaching out to their lawmakers.
“The next step for this bill is to be brought to the House floor for a vote, and AAHomecare is working to build support for an expedited process,” read a statement from the association. “This is a major step for the HME industry, so please make sure your representative is on board.
“Each and every HME owner, employee, patient, caregiver and family member needs to support H.R. 284,” the statement added. “If you haven’t already, please use the resources below to contact your elected officials.
David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.