Deficit reduction bill still intact

Sunday, February 19, 2006

WASHINGTON - It doesn't look like a typo in the recently passed deficit reduction bill will provide Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives--and the industry--another chance to revisit the legislation, according to industry sources.

Part of the bill caps Medicare oxygen reimbursement at 36 months and transfers title of the equipment to the beneficiary at that time. It also eliminates the cap rental option for some HME items.

The House late last week killed a resolution by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to investigate why the bill was sent to the floor for a vote, despite the typo, said Michael Reinemer, AAHomecare's vice president for communications and policy.

Because of the error, the bill that was passed in the House was slightly different to the version passed by the Senate. The president signed the correct version of the bill.

The bill, however, still may be challenged in court. An attorney in Alabama has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the bill, Reinemer said.