Chiropractor candidate aligns with HME issues

Monday, July 31, 2006

Dave Langheier says Congress needs to support a uniquely American industry--HME--from beneficiaries to manufacturers.
"I believe it's an important area for American ingenuity and innovation," said Langheier, a Republican from Florida's 9th Congressional district running for an open House seat. "We work with products and services that actually help peoples' quality of life, that are relatively inexpensive and keep them out of more expensive situations."
Langheier is a chiropractor who has lobbied Congress on behalf of that industry and participates in community health and social service organizations. He founded Criterion, a manufacturer of TENS devices and related items in 1996. His products are made in the United States, a deliberate choice, he says.
"Our American manufacturing base is critical," said Langheier. "A lot of innovation comes from small to medium-sized companies."
Langheier said his manufacturing and medical backgrounds enable him to understand what the HME industry needs to thrive. He has served on Florida's Medicare Advisory Committee and likens Medicare to an American-made product that consumers have paid for over their working lives.
"Most of the benefit comes at the end of life," he said. "I believe they should have access to that."
The recent proposal to cap oxygen at 36 months goes against that social contract, he said, and it's unfair to providers trying to offer a needed service.
"There needs to be a fair amount of money paid for oxygen for these people," he said. "People paid for this system and they need to have access to it and suppliers need to be able to provide it."
With baby boomers entering their golden years, Langheier said, HME presents a huge growth opportunity for America.
"We need more health services and we want a better quality of life," said Langheier. "A 65-year-old baby boomer thinks he's a kid."