Dear Governor Bush

Friday, May 31, 2002

As you may know, Invacare Corporation has facilities in the Sanford, Fla., area that manufacture home respiratory equipment and hospital-type beds for use in the home. These facilities provide jobs for over 400 Floridians. As such, Invacare is very concerned with the proposal of your Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to subject these products and other items of durable medical equipment (DME) to competitive bidding. Competitive bidding will destroy many small businesses, putting dedicated Floridians out of work and in the unemployment line.

As a good Republican, I don't want to believe that you find the consequences of competitive bidding for DME acceptable. However, I will have no choice but to accept that this is your position unless you come out and voice your strong opposition to competitive bidding and support your words with action by eliminating competitive bidding for durable medical equipment from the Florida Medicaid program. I want you to know that Invacare is actively engaged (both financially and as "foot soldiers") to help our customers - the dozens of small businesses who distribute DME throughout Florida - in their effort to eliminate statewide competitive bidding for DME. Invacare has made a sizable contribution to the Florida trade association's (FAMES) legal defense fund and made our legal and lobbying resources available to the team leading the fight in your state. We will also assist them in developing a grassroots campaign to educate the members of the Florida legislature on the consequences of competitive bidding for DME.

Governor Bush, competitive bidding for DME is a bad idea that history has shown will not result in the cost reductions your administration anticipates. More importantly, competitive bidding will harm people who rely on Medicaid and hurt large and small businesses in Florida. I respectfully ask that you personally intervene in this matter and stop the AHCA proposal to competitively bid DME in your state.

I respectfully request the favor of a personal reply to this letter.


A. Malachi Mixon, III
Chairman and CEO
C.c.: Secretary Tommy Thompson
US Department of Health and Human Services
Tom Scully, Administrator
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services