Does it take an act of Congress to get Congress to act?


In our local newspaper today is a letter to the editor that made me laugh. The writer called out Congress on its hypocrisy when the sequester began to impact air travel.

The letter states:

For the first time in recent memory, both houses of Congress responded in prompt bipartisan fashion. And while the White House bemoaned the sequester, they announced the president would sign this legislation.


By coincidence, today I also clicked on a LinkedIn discussion (which I rarely do). The question: MPP alternative is relaunched. Does anyone think it has any chance to succeed this time? Many of those in the discussion were cautiously optimistic about the bill's chances. As one provider said: We've got to give it our best shot.

Another commenter pointed out that Congress remains in complete and utter gridlock, which I think will be a huge problem for MPP.

And then, this was depressing. keeps users updated on how the bill is progressing. Some lowlights: MPP has only a 3% chance of being enacted. Only 11% of House bills made it past committee and only 3% were enacted in 2011-2013.

Looks like the mountain the industry is pushing that bill up just got a little steeper. With bad weather looming overhead.

It will be interesting to see who attends the AAHomecare conference (is that next week already?!). My guess is it's the same providers who go every year. (BTW, there was a bit of association bashing on this thread as well. Are you listening, association leaders?).

Speaking of listening, provider Chris Rice suggested the industry's message on competitive bidding needs to cut to the chase. His suggestion? We just auctioned off your healthcare to the lowest bidder. Any questions?

He's got a point. Providers can talk to lawmakers until they are blue in the face but I think it's the beneficiaries who would have the most impact. 

Of course, it would still take an act of Congress to get Congress to act.

Theresa Flaherty



The bill never had a chance, one bill was pulled and another added to replace it too late. I also believe that this congress is more worried about their jobs than anything that would improve access for their constituents. The DME industry has been fighting and losing for many years now. If the industry wants to survive ( and it won't with these reimbursement rates ) it will have to change the players and the tactics. Just follow the example of physicians and ask how do they keep getting the doc fix from congress?