Healthcare reform: House reaches compromise


The Blue Dog Coalition, a group of fiscally conservative Democrats in the House, has reached a compromise with leaders in the House,  according to a story

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just posted by CNN. Earlier this month the Ways and Means and Education and Labor committees approved draft healthcare legislation, but efforts were stalled in the Energy and Commerce Committee due to push back from the Blue Dogs. According to CNN:

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The Blue Dogs had presented committee chairman Rep. Henry Waxman a list of 10 items that they wanted changed in health care reform proposals. Neither side revealed what the 10 items were.

The Energy and Commerce committee plans to take up its draft legislation later today, with hopes of approving it by Friday.

The draft legislation approved by the Ways and Means and Education and Labor committees includes the following HME-related provisions:

  • A  provision that would require HME providers that service beneficiaries at month 27 to continue to do so for the remainder of the useful lifetime of the equipment (60 months), regardless of the patient's location. Providers can furnish oxygen themselves or make arrangements with another provider.
  • A provision that would eliminate the first-month purchase option for Group 1 and Group 2 power wheelchairs. It exempts Group 3 complex power wheelchairs.
  • A provision that would allow any provider that has submitted an accreditation application before Aug. 1, 2009, to be deemed as meeting applicable standards and accreditation until the accreditor takes action on the provider's application.
  • A provision that allows pharmacies that provide only diabetes testing supplies, canes and crutches to be exempt from accreditation. Further, pharmacies that have had a provider number for at least five years and have never had an adverse action would be exempt from obtaining surety bonds.

Liz Beaulieu

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