Bittersweet healthcare reform

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03/04/2009

Here's the thing about healthcare reform: It can help and hurt the HME industry.

It can help by increasing the pool of insured—the more people who have insurance, the more people who have access to healthcare services and products, including HME. It can also help by increasing the focus on prevention. HME is a major league player in that ballpark. If a patient with diabetes, for example, takes care of himself by regularly checking his blood sugar levels using a glucose monitor—a piece of HME—he’ll be less likely to end up in the hospital needing an expensive amputation.

It can hurt by making HME a target for cuts. Healthcare reform won’t come cheap, and the government needs to pay for it somehow.

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This isn’t news to most of you, but yesterday, we learned that healthcare reform has the potential to hurt more than we thought. In the past, lawmakers have said healthcare reform would be exempt, at least partially, from pay-go rules. Now they’re doing an about-face.

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CongressDaily reports that Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Finance Committee, has decided healthcare reform needs to be fully offset. According to CongressDaily:

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Being There download As for offsets, Baucus said staff is just beginning to figure out what pay-fors might be palatable. "I'll be taking the temperature of senators to see which measures are either the path of least resistance or which measures are more popular," he said.

For the Boys movie full Do you think lawmakers consider HME a “path of least resistance”?

If you have a senator that sits on the Finance Committee, contact him or her sooner rather than later. Resist!

— Liz Beaulieu

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