While H.R. 6331 passed the House with a veto-proof 355 yea votes to 59 nay votes, the bill to delay national competitive bidding failed to get enough votes in the Senate to end debate and move to a vote before the July 4 recess.
With the Senate not taking any more votes on legislation until the afternoon of July 7, this leaves little standing in the way of round one of NCB going into effect on its July 1 implementation date.
The cloture vote failed by a single vote, with 59 yeas to 40 nays. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) then switched his yea vote so that the bill can be revisited in the future, leaving the final count at 58 yeas to 40 nay and two present/non-voting.
H.R. 6331 proposes to delay implementation of national competitive bidding by up to 24 months, with the HME industry paying for the delay in the form of 9.5 percent price cuts to DME and services covered by competitive bidding, except for oxygen and power wheelchairs.
A Senate bill, S.3101, is almost identical to H.R. 6331, but does not contain provisions to protect oxygen and power wheelchairs from the cuts.