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Bi-Partisan Members of U.S. House of Representatives Formally Oppose Funding Reductions to Medicare's Home Oxygen Benefit
Date:3/7/2008

Joint House Letter, Following Bi-Partisan Senate Letter, asks Lawmakers to Reject Proposed Cuts to Benefit which could 'Jeopardize Care' and Make 'Reform Much More Difficult to Achieve'

Letter Draws Widespread Support Among Home Oxygen Community

WASHINGTON, March 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council for Quality Respiratory Care (CQRC) -- a coalition of the 12 leading home oxygen therapy providers and manufacturers who provide care and services to approximately 650,000 chronically ill home oxygen patients -- today praised Congressman John Tanner (D-8th TN) and Congressman Philip English (R-3rd PA) for leading efforts in the House of Representatives to protect Medicare's home oxygen benefit. Additional changes to the Medicare benefit, proposed in the Administration's FY 2009 Budget, would put even greater strain on the home oxygen community, currently bracing for scheduled cuts totaling nearly 18.8 percent, or approximately $710 million in 2009 and $855 million in 2010.

"The respiratory care community thanks Reps. Tanner and English for their bi-partisan effort to prevent further funding cuts to Medicare's home oxygen benefit -- on top of deep cuts currently being implemented -- which would jeopardize critical patient care services, as well as hinder benefit reform opportunities in the future," said Peter Kelly, Chairman of the CQRC. "Additional cuts to this benefit could create unnecessary barriers to quality care for patients and present complex new challenges for providers who are already struggling to prepare for unprecedented changes to this benefit."

To date, 32 members of the U.S. House have signed onto the Tanner-English letter, including members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Tom Allen (D-1st ME), Jim Matheson (D-2nd UT), Mike Ross (D-4th AR), G.K. Butterfield (D-1st NC), John Barrow (D-12th GA), Baron Hill (D-9th IN), Mary Bono Mack (R-45th CA) and Joseph Pitts (R-16th PA). Several members of the
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SOURCE Council for Quality Respiratory Care
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1. New Democracy Corps Battleground Poll of Swing Districts Finds Strong, Bi-Partisan Opposition to Cutting Medicare-Funded Nursing Home Care
2. Bi-Partisan Members of United States Senate Formally Raise Concerns About Proposed Cuts to Medicares Home Oxygen Benefit
3. Home Oxygen Community Applauds Senator Blanche Lincoln for Leading Bi-Partisan Effort to Formally Oppose Proposed Cuts to Medicares Home Oxygen Benefit
4. Home Oxygen Community Applauds Senator Pat Roberts for Leading Bi-Partisan Effort to Formally Oppose Proposed Cuts to Medicares Home Oxygen Benefit
5. Home Oxygen Community Applauds Senator Ken Salazar for Joining Bi-Partisan Effort to Formally Oppose Proposed Cuts to Medicares Home Oxygen Benefit
6. Home Oxygen Community Applauds Senator Tim Johnson for Joining Bi-Partisan Effort to Formally Oppose Proposed Cuts to Medicares Home Oxygen Benefit
7. Home Oxygen Community Applauds Senator Kit Bond for Joining Bi-Partisan Effort to Formally Oppose Proposed Cuts to Medicares Home Oxygen Benefit
8. Home Oxygen Community Applauds Senator Bernard Sanders for Joining Bi-Partisan Effort to Formally Oppose Proposed Cuts to Medicares Home Oxygen Benefit
9. Home Oxygen Community Applauds Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins for Joining Bi-Partisan Effort to Formally Oppose Proposed Cuts to Medicares Home Oxygen Benefit
10. Home Oxygen Community Applauds Senator Barbara Mikulski for Joining Bi-Partisan Effort to Formally Oppose Proposed Cuts to Medicares Home Oxygen Benefit
11. Home Oxygen Community Applauds Senator George Voinovich for Joining Bi-Partisan Effort to Formally Oppose Proposed Cuts to Medicares Home Oxygen Benefit
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