DEGETTE, REED, BROOKS Bipartisan Bill Passes Energy and Commerce Full Committee
Washington, D.C. – Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO), Tom Reed (R-NY) and Susan Brooks (R-IN) introduced a bill that would strengthen protections for Medicare beneficiaries who buy blood glucose testing supplies through the National Mail Order Competitive Bidding Program (CBP). Today, the Energy and Commerce Full Committee held a markup where a number of bills were voted on and passed to strengthen and improve Medicare, including H.R. 3271, the Protecting Access to Diabetes Supplies Act.
“It is heartening that in a time of increased partisanship, our often-contentious committee can advance this important bill with broad, bipartisan support,” said DeGette. “The 11 million Americans on Medicare living with diabetes are counting on Congress to help improve their access to these life-saving supplies, and today’s advancement of H.R. 3271 advances this critical objective. I am confident that our colleagues will soon support this bill with a similar enthusiasm on the House Floor.”
“We must ensure that seniors who are on Medicare have access to the proper health supplies in order to manage their diabetes,” said Reed. “I am pleased that this bill is making its way through the legislative process, as it was voted out of the Energy and Commerce Committee today. We are committed to passing this bipartisan legislation so that patients have a choice when it comes to treating their diabetes.”
“Today’s vote to send the Protecting Access to Diabetes Supplies Act to the House Floor ensures that we are one step closer to ensuring Medicare beneficiaries across the country who live with the daily challenges associated with diabetes have access to test strips that work best with their bodies to monitor their glucose levels,” said Brooks. “Testing with mismatched or incorrect supplies can have deadly consequences, and this bill will bolster consumer protections that prohibit suppliers from encouraging beneficiaries to switch from one testing system to another, and make sure that seniors are fully aware of their rights to receive test strips that meet their needs. I look forward to passing this legislation soon on the House Floor with continued bipartisan support.”
Medicare beneficiaries living with diabetes will not be helped if meters cannot translate glucose levels reported on the test strips into a diagnosis. This bill, which passed the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health in July, would strengthen enforcement of current law requirements that suppliers in the CBP must include at least 50 percent of the types of test systems that were on the market before the CBP’s implementation. The competitive bidding program has several beneficiary protections that the legislation seeks to place into statute to ensure proper oversight and enforcement of these protections.
DeGette and Reed are the co-chairs of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus; Brooks serves as its vice-chair.