SCD Public Policy Update: DXA Cuts Addressed in Senate Health Care Bill

In the past month, 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 this 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 possibly as early as next week.

Unfortunately, the DXA cuts were not addressed in the House version of the Health Care Reform legislation, H.R.3962, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act. This legislation was narrowly approved by the House on November 7th. It is clear that there will be significant differences in House and Senate versions. 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. In the House, we need more bill sponsors to H.R. 1894 (Medicare Fracture Prevention and Osteoporosis Testing Act). In the Senate, we need to make sure that our support there stays strong and 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. In our most recent campaign, your efforts generated over 2000 emails to 314 Representatives and 91 Senators. This communication, our largest effort yet, helps to solidify our support as the process continues and is critical to our success. We know we can count on your help in the coming weeks as we continue our work. Thank you for your continued response to our “Calls to Action,” and for passing along our information to your colleagues to generate an even greater response.

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: H.R. 1894 and S. 769, The Medicare Fracture Prevention and Osteoporosis Testing Act of 2009. Currently we have 118 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 e-mail 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: December 27, 2012