House Sit-in Stymies PADME Vote

While Senate voted to approve delay to July 1 bid expansion cuts, the House firearms sit-in unexpectedly stalled action on House companion legislation.

After the Senate’s late-Tuesday vote to approve the Patient Access to Durable Medical Equipment Act of 2016, the House’s vote on companion legislation stalled out due to the unexpected sit-in by Democratic lawmakers demanding a vote on gun control legislation. This means the July 1 implementation of national bid expansions’ full reimbursement cuts will likely go through.

While the House bill, H.R. 5210, had gained 117 co-sponsors, the American Association for Homecare reported that the industry’s legislative champions in the House had encountered resistance from “influential parties” over PADME’s proposed Medicaid pay-for. AAHomecare identified these objections as one of the most significant challenges to PADME’s passage in the House.

Despite the objection, industry advocates and lawmakers were able to craft a deal that would have brought a version of H.R. 5210 to a vote with a three-month delay to the July 1 cuts, rather than the 12-month delay in the version that passed the Senate.

“However, the unexpected and unprecedented action by House Democrats to stage a sit-in to shut down the House floor until leadership agreed to consider gun-control legislation scuttled all legislation up for consideration yesterday,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare. “Ultimately the House went into their planned recess (to July 5) last night, instead of Friday, as planned.”

AAHomecare reports that it has been working with the legislation’s lead sponsors to determine if there are ways the industry can “retroactively” stop the cuts when the House returns from its recess. The association also reports that it is asking CMS to delay the cuts until the House can vote on H.R. 5210.

A statement from AAHomecare said the association would “continue to work with leading HME stakeholder groups, state and regional association leaders, and our allies and other influential parties on Capitol Hill to find a way forward.”

The statement added that, “The leaders in this industry who have taken time to build relationships with their legislators and educate and motivate their peers in the HME community deserve a great deal of credit in moving rural relief legislation this far forward. We look forward to working with you in the days and weeks ahead as we resume this effort.”

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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