Jerry Lewis endorses carve-out bill

Sunday, October 14, 2007

WASHINGTON - NCART continues to rack up support from consumer groups for H.R. 2231, its bill to exempt complex rehab and assistive technology from national competitive bidding.

In an Oct. 4 press release, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and its national chairman, Jerry Lewis, stated that competitive bidding promotes a "one-size-fits-all concept of care" and that the carve-out bill is necessary to protect those who rely on complex rehab, including tens of thousands with progressive neuromuscular diseases.

"How can you restrict people's choices when selecting wheelchairs and other vital equipment?" Lewis stated in the release. "This is not only medically wrong but also fiscally irresponsible."

The MDA is the second consumer group to officially endorse H.R. 2231. The ALS Association, which represents people with Lou Gehrig's disease, attended a press event that NCART held on Capitol Hill Sept. 25.

"We're really excited," said Sharon Hildebrandt, NCART's executive director.

NCART is still working to get a companion bill to H.R. 2231 introduced in the Senate. H.R. 2231 has 20 co-sponsors.

The MDA first began pushing H.R. 2231 in a letter to Congress in July.