Report: Medicare Bill Has Been Vetoed; Industry Urges Override

The Associated Press, citing an unnamed senior administration official, has reported that President Bush has vetoed H.R. 6331, as expected.

The HME industry, which has anticipated the veto for days, is urging Congress to override the veto, and is encouraging stakeholders to contact their representatives and senators and relay that message.

H.R. 6331, nicknamed the "doc-fix" bill because it includes an adjustment to a funding cut to physicians treating Medicare beneficiaries, also reforms competitive bidding, puts the current competitive bidding program on hold, and exempts complex power rehab from the program entirely.

The bill passed easily in the House, and passed the Senate last week by a 69-30 vote. Both House and Senate tallies were strong enough to override a presidential veto.

An override effort would begin in the House. A press release from NAIMES sent out today predicted the House vote could take place today.

"It is unfortunate that President Bush has chosen to veto H.R. 6331," said American Association for Homecare President Tyler Wilson in a statement released Tuesday, July 15. "This legislation would save taxpayers billions of dollars through reduced spending on home medical equipment and it would help seniors and people with disabilities to continue receive quality home medical equipment and services through Medicare."

On its Web site, The VGM Group told members, "Continue to contact your legislators to ask that they vote to override the president's veto."     

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