New amendment to preserve first-month purchase option: What do you say this time CBO?


As you know from my last blog, the industry's first effort to preserve the first-month purchase option for standard power wheelchairs failed, because the CBO says the amendment that the industry crafted and Sen. Arlen Specter introduced would only save $200 million over 10 years (it needs to save $800 million).

Now a new amendment has been drafted that outlines an across-the-board cut phased in over a four- or five-year period, says Seth Johnson, vice president of government affairs for Pride Mobility Products.

We're waiting for a CBO score to see what the reduction would need to be for the amendment to be budget neutral," he said. "The amendment is drafted, but there's a blank where the reduction should be. The language is pretty straightforward. If we get back a CBO score that's reasonable, it could easily be introduced."

The amendment's best chances for being introduced are when leaders in the Senate and House of Representatives meet to combine their healthcare reform bills, Johnson said.

We've been told that it could be considered as part of the conference process in January," he said. "If it's budget neutral, they can just exchange one provision for another. You're not changing the dollar value involved."

Liz Beaulieu