Moving the HME Industry Forward

Legislative/Advocacy

We’ve Come Too Far to Stop Now

December 8, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – While you might think that the so-called “lame duck” period after an election would live down to that uninspiring name, things couldn’t be moving faster on legislation to help fix the competitive bidding by discouraging low-ball and un-licensed bidders.

On Thursday, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Ben Cardin (D-Md), both members of the Senate Finance Committee, introduced the Senate companion to H.R. 4920. The Portman-Cardin Medicare Competitive Bidding Improvement Act (MCBIA) would ensure a fair competitive bidding program by preventing intentional low-ball bidding for CMS contracts.

We likely have just over a week left to get S. 2975 considered on its own, or added to another legislative package. The request is simple: Call and email your Senator right now.

It only takes two minutes on Action.AAHomecare.org to email your Senator, please take a moment to help your community. Double your impact by calling your Senator. See our online directory for contact information and ask to speak to the staffer who handles healthcare-related legislation.

Tell them that we have much to lose and nothing to gain by letting intentional low-ball bidding disrupt how HME gets to those who need it.

Tell them that the Medicare Competitive Bidding Improvement Act will increase transparency and fairness in the bidding process, promote competition and ensure seniors have increased access to quality medical supplies.

Tell them that you are a small business owner who is being shut out of your industry by predatory bidders taking advantage of loopholes in the Medicare bidding process.

See additional details about the bill in our issue brief on the legislation, or email Gordon Barnes at gordonb@aahomecare.org with any questions or requests for assistance in making contact with your legislators.

We’ve come too far, and built up too much credibility with key Capitol Hill audiences, to let this opportunity slip away without making every effort to get consideration for S.2975 in this session.

I truly believe there has never been a better chance for us to get a lasting win on the bidding issue in the years we have been working to fix this badly flawed program, but there’s only time for one more concerted push.

Please take action this week, and encourage your friends and peers to do the same. This is our last chance for action in the 113th Congress; we can’t let it slip away without a fight!

Tom Ryan is president and CEO of the American Association for Homecare, Washington, DC.