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Witch way to success?

Witch way to success?

Three hundred and twenty-nine years. That’s how long it took for Elizabeth Johnson Jr.’s name to be cleared after being convicted of witchcraft in Salem, Mass., in 1693. 

According to the Boston Globe, state lawmakers agreed to reconsider her case – she was the last accused witch to be cleared – at the behest of an eighth-grade civics class. There followed a bill, an attachment vehicle in the form of a budget bill and, finally, approval. 

Sound familiar? That’s because it’s a rodeo ridden many times by the HME industry, which has, at various times, congressional session after congressional session, sought support, succeeded in getting legislation introduced and gotten co-sponsors, only to fall short of getting over the finish line. 

It may feel like it’s been 329 years, but many of these bills are related to Medicare’s competitive bidding program, which has only been kicking around since 2010. Has it really only been 12 years? 

The most recent bill, H.R. 6641, introduced in February, is struggling to gain co-sponsors. It currently stands at 20, with the addition of five lawmakers in July. 

You’ve heard it time and again: Grassroots efforts are needed to get this thing passed. It requires a little effort and a lot of follow-ups. As I write this in early August, I know VGM is gearing up for that August recess push, their “August of Action.” AAHomecare is planning its legislative conference for September. 

One of those July co-signers was Rep. Sanford Bishop, D. Ga., after provider Tyler Riddle paid his office an in-person visit. In July. In DC. Which is a veritable swamp in July. You can’t get much more grassroots than that. 

But Tyler came away from that trip pumped up and ready to spread the gospel of the power of lobbying. In fact, if you give him a call, he’ll tell you all about it. 

And yes, it’s summer, and there’s lobbying fatigue. You’d rather be at the beach, the mountains, the lake. Lawmakers are distracted by all the cray-cray. But they will listen to you. 

So please, make the call. Send the email. Shake the hand. Write the check. Let’s get H.R. 6641 passed before another 10 years pass by.


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