It is important that all of you are knowledgeable about S.1932, the Senate Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 and how it can impact the lives of oxygen users if it is allowed to stand unchanged. It is already the law. You also need to know more about
HR 5133 (also known as "Home Oxygen Patient Protection
Act of 2006"). This legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by two physicians; Congressman Joe Schwarz, MD, a Republican from Michigan, and Congressman Tom Price, MD, a Democrat from Georgia. Both are physicians and both are aware of the serious impact this can have on current and future oxygen users. These physicians need your support!
Many letters have been written about this disastrous legislation but we have enclosed three that we think best help explain the situation. One is from the American Lung Association, one from Dr. Tom Petty and one from Pulmonary nurse Chris Garvey to her colleagues and patients. Read the information in these letters carefully.
We hope you decide to call or write your Representatives to support HR 5133. This is the time to also enlist your families and friends in joining you, and other bipartisan supporters of Congressman Joe Schwarz and HR 5133.
Garvey, Chris (SMC) wrote:
I am normally reluctant to request political involvement of others. However, recent legislation has the potential to leave home oxygen users with sole responsibility for maintenance and replacement of their home oxygen equipment. The Deficit Reduction Act passed by Congress earlier this year will require persons using oxygen to assume ownership and responsibility for their home oxygen equipment after 36 months of rental under Medicare. This potentially leaves frail persons with the responsibility to repair, replace, maintain and troubleshoot equipment that may keep them clinically stable at home. I am asking you to consider supporting the Home Oxygen Patient Protection Act. This bill would change Medicare oxygen coverage back to it's current state which provides allowance for ongoing maintenance and support from respiratory therapists and medical equipment companies. This legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by two physicians - Congressman Joe Schwarz MD of Michigan and Congressman Tom Price MD of Georgia. It is clear that Medicare spending must be controlled, however, making oxygen-dependent patients serve at their own respiratory therapists and medical equipment company can only result in increased ER visits and overall Medicare costs.
Please consider asking your Member of Congress to cosponsor H.R. 5513, the Home Oxygen Patient Protection Act. The switch board number at the U.S. Capitol is 202-224-3121. You can look up your Member of Congress and at http://www.house.gov
Chris Garvey FNP, MSN, MPA
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