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Thread: Medicare Package a Mess.. get involved..

  1. #1

    Medicare Package a Mess.. get involved..


    The good bill HR 6331, which passed in Congress by a huge beyond veto action, was pitted yesterday in the US Senate. I was in DC in the morning to be at my favorite Senators office.

    US Senator Harry Reid from Nevada along with Senator Max Baucus was there in support of the much needed Medicare Package that his Finance committee and his staff had been working tirelessly on for months. The House on Tuesday voted 355-59 to approve legislation (HR 6331) that would delay for 18 months the dreaded competitive bidding and that of a 10.6% reduction to Medicare physician fees scheduled to take effect on July 1. Most important for this legislation was the fact that the first month purchase option was left that. That was a part of this legislation that was a plus for People who use Power wheelchairs, seniors, People who are disabled and children who are disabled alike. Although this was great news that Senator Baucus stepped up, and showed his leadership. It’s too bad many other US Senators did not. I fear the worst when Competitive bidding takes effect. I hope that whatever package we have in the future does not contain or change the first month purchase option for Power wheelchairs. Or seniors and people who are disabled suffer. I mean why not go after the weakest. I was at the Senate Yesterday, and Senator Baucus and his staff has wrestled with these two issues for months. It’s too bad the rest of those Senators could not see past their noses or the Physicans fees....

    I thank Senator Reid for his leadership and casting his No vote when the issue was clearly not passing. It takes great leaders like Senators Baucus and Reid to stand up for seniors and People who are disabled. Please thank them for their hard work and dedication..!!

    Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s so-called “competitive bidding” program has been an unnecessary and complicated auction for health care services since its inception.CMS created the program with the intention to cut costs for Medicare beneficiaries who rely on items they refer to as “Durable Medical Equipment Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies” (DMEPOS). This consists of at-home services and equipment such as home oxygen therapy, hospital beds, medical supplies, eternal nutrients, walkers, wheelchairs, power mobility and other products.

    "However, the poorly designed and implemented program has put many small businesses and jobs at risk. Moreover, economic studies have concluded it will actually raise costs in the long run." So says the Green county Dailie of Xeina Ohio dated 6/26.2008 59968&TM=71122.96


    Washington, DCSenate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today, announcing that the Senate will vote on H.R. 6331, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act, when the Senate returns from the July 4th recess. Senate Republicans blocked a bill Thursday night that would prevent the impending 10.6 percent cut in payments to physicians who care for the 44 million American seniors in Medicare, and to make other key improvements to the program.

    “Last night the Senate fell one vote short of getting the 60 votes needed to consider the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act. Despite the fact that every Democratic Senator present voted to proceed, the vast majority of Senate Republicans voted in lockstep to block this important bipartisan legislation, even though it overwhelmingly passed the House earlier this week.

    “After consultation with Chairman Baucus, I have decided that the Senate will again vote on the motion to proceed to this legislation shortly after we return from the July 4th recess. Senate Republicans will be given another opportunity to reconsider their unfortunate decision to hurt patients and doctors.”
    Target list to call and ask them to reconsider their position to side with Physicians and not with seniors or those with Disabilities.
    USE your voice. Do not be silent. We have a week.. CALL YOUR SENATOR now!!!!!202-224-3121

    Alexander (R-TN)
    Allard (R-CO)
    Barrasso (R-WY)
    Bennett (R-UT)
    Bond (R-MO)
    Brownback (R-KS)
    Bunning (R-KY)
    Burr (R-NC)
    Chambliss (R-GA)
    Coburn (R-OK)
    Cochran (R-MS)
    Corker (R-TN)
    Cornyn (R-TX)
    Craig (R-ID)

    Crapo (R-ID)
    DeMint (R-SC)
    Domenici (R-NM)
    Ensign (R-NV)
    Enzi (R-WY)
    Graham (R-SC)
    Grassley (R-IA)
    Gregg (R-NH)
    Hagel (R-NE)
    Hatch (R-UT)
    Hutchison (R-TX)
    Inhofe (R-OK)
    Isakson (R-GA)
    Kyl (R-AZ)

    Lugar (R-IN)
    Martinez (R-FL)
    McConnell (R-KY)
    Reid (D-NV)Do not call Senator Reid, he voted NO, so that HR 6331 could be voted on again. Call him only to thank him.. !!!!!
    Sessions (R-AL)
    Shelby (R-AL)
    Specter (R-PA)
    Sununu (R-NH)
    Thune (R-SD)
    Vitter (R-LA)
    Warner (R-VA)
    Wicker (R-MS)

    Key Provisions of H.R. 6331
    Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008

    On June 20, 2008, Chairmen Rangel and Dingell introduced H.R. 6331, the “Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008”. This legislation prevents the pending 10 percent payment reduction for physicians in Medicare, enhances Medicare preventive and mental health benefits, improves and extends programs for low-income Medicare beneficiaries, and extends expiring provisions for rural and other providers. Key provisions of H.R. 6331 include:

    ·The bill eliminates the pending 10 percent cut in Medicare payments to physicians for the remainder of 2008 and provides a 1.1 percent update in Medicare physician payments for 2009.
    ·The bill provides a 2 percent quality reporting bonus for doctors who report on quality measures through 2010 and provides financial incentives to providers to encourage the use of electronic prescribing technology.

    ·The bill extends and improves low-income assistance programs for Medicare beneficiaries whose income is below $14,040. This includes the “Qualified Individual” program which pays part B premiums for low-income beneficiaries with incomes of $12,480 to $14,040 a year.
    ·It would increase the amount of assets that low-income beneficiaries can have and still qualify for financial help with Medicare costs.
    ·The bill adds new preventive benefits to the Medicare program and reduces beneficiary out of pocket costs for mental health care.

    ·The bill requires Medicare Advantage plans to:
    opay pharmacies promptly (within 14 days); and
    oupdate the prices they will reimburse for prescription medicines at least weekly so the pharmacies know what they should get paid.
    ·The bill also delays the new Medicaid payment rule which changes Medicaid’s payment limits for pharmacies to be based on the Average Manufacturer Price (AMP). The rule would be delayed through September 2009.

    Medicare Advantage
    ·The bill takes modest steps to reduce Medicare payments to private plans which are being paid more than 100 percent of the cost to treat a beneficiary in fee-for-service Medicare by:
    ophasing out the Indirect Medical Education (IME) double-payment (hospitals would continue to be get paid, Medicare Advantage plans would not);

    oeliminating the Medicare Advantage “slush” fund, which is a fund that the Secretary may use to further increase payments to private plans; and
    oensuring Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plans comply with quality requirements that other Medicare Advantage plans must meet and ensuring beneficiaries in PFFS plans have adequate access to providers.
    ·The bill also includes new prohibitions and limitations on marketing activities under Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans.

    Rural Providers and Beneficiaries
    ·The bill protects access to care in rural America by extending and building upon expiring provisions, including:
    oImproving payments for sole community hospitals, critical access hospitals, and ambulances;
    oExtending expiring provisions that preserve payment equity for rural physicians and rural hospitals that run clinical laboratories;
    oIncreasing access to tele-health services and speech-language therapy;
    oRetaining access to Medicare Advantage by ensuring private-fee-for-service plans in rural areas can continue to operate as they do today, if there are fewer than two plan options.

    H.R. 6331 makes a number of other modest changes to Medicare payments, including:
    oProtecting access to therapy services by extending the exceptions process to the limits on therapy visits for beneficiaries in nursing homes; and
    oPostponing the Durable Medical Equipment (DME) competitive bidding program and repealing the clinical laboratory competitive bidding program.

  2. #2
    Senior Member kate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    bellevue, wa, usa

    Hey Madonna!

    Good post, I'll be sure to call my senators . . . if you happen to run into Max Baucus again, could you please ask him to sign on to the CDRPA? He's not with us yet.

  3. #3

    Very good

    Its a very good post, interesting one send it to senators. They have much bother about this. From where you get this much information. Thanks for this.

    Tennessee Drug Treatment

  4. #4
    Hey thanks for posting this, I'm going to see about getting some info on this up at our blog. The more people we can reach, the better!

  5. #5
    ok durrrr... this was already passed in july

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