Separate benefit: Keep momentum going into 2013

Monday, November 26, 2012

WASHINGTON – Even with the 112th Congress rapidly coming to a close, providers should keep pushing the separate benefit bill, stakeholders say.

“We’re not taking our foot off the gas,” said Don Clayback, executive director of NCART. “We don’t want to lose the momentum we’ve built, and every new person we can get to sign on will make it that much easier as we move into 2013.”

Sponsored by Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., the Ensuring Access to Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act of 2012, H.R. 4378, dropped in April and currently has 36 cosponsors. 

It’s unlikely the bill will pass this year. Still, already having bill language and congressional support in place means stakeholders won’t have to start back at square one, they say. 

“We’re hoping to reintroduce it bipartisan,” said Simon Margolis, executive director of NRRTS. “That’s even better. Support for H.R. 4378 is not going to wane.”

Among the bill’s current cosponsors are both the Democratic and Republican chairs of the bipartisan Disability Caucus and members of two key committees: Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means.

Work done to support H.R. 4378 will not be wasted, say stakeholders.

“We’ve probably met with 300 to 400 offices in Congress, and all those conversations build upon each other,” said Clayback. “This sets us in a good place as we move into 2013.”