Congress Overrides President Veto of Medicare Bill

Date: July 16, 2008

CONTACT: Stephanie Cathcart, 202-314-2056

WASHINGTON, D.C.--The following statement was issued by Dan Danner, executive vice president for the National Federation of Independent Business, the nation's leading small business organization, in reaction to Congressional action to overturn the presidential veto of H.R. 6331, "The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act":

"Though NFIB was not directly involved in discussions about some of the larger issues debated in H.R. 6331, we are pleased that two issues of critical importance to small business were addressed through passage of the Medicare bill.  Specifically, the bill includes both prompt pay for small and independent pharmacists, and a delay in the Medicare competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment. These provisions are essential to providing the financial certainty necessary for America's small businesses in the healthcare community to meet their business obligations--and the people who depend on their services."

NFIB-supported provisions addressed in The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (H.R. 6331) include:

  • Provides prompt payment for our nation's small and independent pharmacists: Delayed reimbursements in the Medicare Part D program have forced small and independent pharmacists to delay expansions and borrow from their savings to cover payroll, wholesaler bills and other basic operating costs. Prompt pay ensures that claims submitted electronically are paid within 14 days and that all other claims are paid within 30 days.
  • Halts an unworkable DMEPOS competitive bidding program: As currently structured, if they lost a bid, small businesses worry they would be locked out of the Medicare marketplace altogether, threatening to put them out of business. An 18-month delay in the program provides the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) an opportunity to make necessary improvements to the program so that small businesses are not unnecessarily harmed.

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