The men behind the bill
The complex rehab community rejoiced last week—there’s a new CRT bill on the floor, and stakeholders are ready to do up some new material and hit the Hill with it next month during the National CRT conference.
There are two representatives stakeholders won’t have to convince: our old friend Rep. Joe Crowley, who introduced the bill last year, and the Republican who agreed to co-introduce the new bill with him, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner.
Now, having met Rep. Crowley and had the opportunity to pose for photos with him and shake his hand, most stakeholders should feel familiar with him. My impression was of a very busy, very friendly guy who sits on the Ways and Means Committee. He’s represented the Bronx and Queens area in Congress since 1998.
A Google image results search for him shows a lot of photos of people who are not him. The ones he’s in, he’s usually smiling or shaking hands with people. There’s a cool one of him playing the guitar.
Here’s what he had to say about H.R. 942 in the press release Don Clayback sent me:
“For people with disabilities or other medical conditions, complex rehabilitation technology products aren’t a luxury, they’re a necessity,” said Rep. Crowley. “Our legislation will help ensure more patients can access the high‐quality products and services they need to help them lead a better, more independent life. And, it puts forward much‐needed quality standards and consumer protections, making the Medicare program stronger for individuals and suppliers as a result.”
Definitely sounds like he gets the message stakeholders have been working to send.
So that’s Mr. Crowley.
Now the new guy.
Mr. Sensenbrenner won his seat in 1978 and has been reelected to represent his part of Wisconsin since 1980. Yep. 35 years. He’s on lots and lots of committees, according to his website:
Jim’s current committee assignments include serving on the Committee on Science and Technology and the Committee on the Judiciary. Congressman Sensenbrenner is Chairman of the Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Oversight Subcommittee. He is also a member of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and Internet, and the Subcommittees on Environment and Oversight.
Since he’s been in politics all this time, most of the photos of him that come through a Google image search are actually Mr. Sensenbrenner. He looks very serious in a lot of his photos. There’s a great one of he and his wife being honored by the American Association of People with Disabilities.
Here’s what he had to say about H.R. 942:
“As someone who has been a leader in the past, fighting for the rights of the disabled, I want to ensure that all Americans have full access to the best tools available, giving them the ability to live each day to the fullest,” said Rep. Sensenbrenner. “Disabled Americans should not be denied the benefits of proper rehabilitation or medical equipment that can provide them the opportunity to live and work freely and independently. With increased flexibility and proper oversight, we can ensure help for those in need while inhibiting fraud and abuse.”
So those are the gentlemen already standing for the CRT bill. The bill received support from both Republicans and Democrats last year, but hopefully having these two senior representatives from both sides of the aisle on board from Day 1 will mean even more support this time.