In the past few weeks, ISCD and our coalition partners cleared a major hurdle in our efforts to address the DXA cuts. Chairman Max Baucus included a provision to remedy the DXA cuts in the much debated Health Care Reform Bill (S.1796, America’s Healthy Future Act) that was approved by the Senate Finance Committee on October 13, 2009. The DXA provision included in the Senate bill would require CMS to reimburse DXA for 2010 and 2011 at approximately $97, as opposed to the $45 level that is scheduled for next year. The provision also calls for a study to evaluate the effect of the DXA cuts on patient access to care. The Baucus bill will be merged with another health care reform bill approved by the Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) Committee. The merged bill will then be sent to the Senate floor for a vote.
In the House, Health Care Reform bills were voted out of three different Committees who share jurisdiction regarding health care policy. (They are the House Committees on Education and Labor, Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means.) Each Committee voted out a portion of HR 3200, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act.
Unfortunately, at this point, the DXA cuts have not been addressed in any of these bills. However, there is still hope of getting a remedy included in the final House bill. All three parts of HR 3200 have now been referred to the House Rules Committee to be merged into one bill before being sent to the House floor for a full vote. The next opportunity to get DXA included in the House bill is in the Rules Committee or by House leadership who also play an integral role in crafting the final document that will be voted upon by the full House of Representatives.
It is likely that there will be significant differences in the versions of the Health Care Reform Bills that are adopted by the House and the Senate. At some point, the two bills will need to be reconciled in a conference committee made up of both House and Senate members.
As you can see, the process is far from over. While we are encouraged by our success in the Senate Finance Committee, we know there is considerable work to do both in the House, as we try to get our DXA provision included in the final bill, and in the Senate to make sure that our support there stays strong to insure that the DXA provision remains part of the bill.
As always, many thanks to all of you who have responded to our requests for letters and calls to targeted Congressional offices over the past few months. We know we can count on your help in the coming weeks as we continue our work.
You can help right now by:
- Responding to our request for help in targeted districts;
- Checking to see if your Representative or Senator is listed as a sponsor of the DXA bills: HR 1894 and SB 769, The Medicare Fracture Prevention and Osteoporosis Testing Act of 2009. Currently we have 117 sponsors in the House and 15 in the Senate. Click here to see the list of current sponsors. If your Representative or Senator is not a sponsor, please send an email to them by clicking here. Increasing the number of sponsors will help us in our lobbying efforts in the coming weeks and months.
Last modified: June 13, 2018