Friday, January 15, 2010

Lawmakers Express Opposition to Bid Program during Meek Week

Last week, several members of Congress spoke out publicly against the “competitive” bidding program. At a town hall meeting conducted by Congressman Mike Ross (D-Ark.) last Friday, Ross touched on the competitive bidding issue. The January 11 Malvern, Arkansas Daily Record reported Ross’ answer to a question from the audience regarding the program: “I am against competitive bidding on home medical equipment. That is something I feel very strongly about. When the power goes out, do you want your grandmother’s equipment owned by the lowest bidder out of Houston or New Orleans, or would you want it owned and serviced by someone locally?”

The McAllen, Texas Monitor reported on January 8 about meetings between a member of Congress, CMS, and providers in several cities in Texas. The newspaper quotes a McAllen HME provider, Rene Ramirez, owner of SupplyBug, “Our concern is they’re trying to cut costs so much to the detriment of the small business and the patient. The general consensus is we don’t want (competitive bidding) down here because it will drive us completely out of business.”

The newspaper says Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) “also questioned the competitive bidding process” and organized the meeting between medical service professionals and a CMS representative. Read the full article here.

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