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Jerry Lewis Urges Congress to Protect Medicare Benefits of People With Neuromuscular Diseases

TUCSON, Ariz., Oct. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Legendary entertainer and MDA National Chairman Jerry Lewis has sent letters to Congress urging passage of legislation protecting the Medicare benefits of those who rely on complex medical equipment and technology, including tens of thousands with progressive neuromuscular diseases.

H.R. 2231, the Medicare Access to Complex Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Act of 2007, would exempt "all complex rehabilitation products and assistive technologies" from Medicare's competitive bidding policy, allowing those with severe physical disabilities access to the highly customized mobility equipment they need.

Current Medicare competitive bidding policy limits those who need equipment such as technologically advanced power wheelchairs to one or two pre-selected equipment vendors, "promoting a one-size-fits-all concept of care," Lewis said in his letter to Congress.

Lewis urged Congress to include H.R. 2231 in a package of Medicare provisions that will be coming before the Senate shortly.

"How can you restrict people's choices when selecting wheelchairs and other vital equipment," Lewis said. "This is not only medically wrong, but fiscally irresponsible."

MDA's National Task Force on Public Awareness began the push for passage of H.R.2231 in July when it endorsed the bill in a letter to Congress. The Task Force is comprised of prominent individuals with neuromuscular diseases who advise MDA on matters of importance to those the Association serves and all people with disabilities.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association is a voluntary health agency working to defeat more than 40 neuromuscular diseases through programs of worldwide research, comprehensive services, and far-reaching professional and public health education.

SOURCE Muscular Dystrophy Association
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