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Action on Health Reform is Needed

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June 23, 2009


Write to Congress

Respiratory Therapist Letter

Patient Letter

Physician Letter

Learn More About the Medicare Respiratory Therapy Initiative


Health reform in on the table in Congress now. And AARC is working its plan to assure that provisions of the Medicare Respiratory Therapy Initiative are included in the final health bill.

This Initiative has already been introduced into Congress as S 343 in the Senate and HR 1077 in the House. “But with health reform on the table, we must assure that those bills become part of the bigger package that will be passed in Congress this year or they will die.” said Cheryl West, AARC director of government affairs.

Why Health Reform?

West explained that Congress passes one bill per year that addresses all Medicare issues, and health reform is it for 2009. Separate stand-alone bills like HR 1077 and S 343 are added on to “the train moving down the tracks,” she said.

“And that train this year is the health reform package. We know that many of you have concerns about the concept of health reform, but our bill, like many others have nothing to do with ‘health reform.’ We simply need to be attached to the overall bill.”

Work to Get Lung Health Provisions Included

Today the AARC is issuing a rally to get the message out:  Please include S 343 and HR 1077 in the final markup of health reform.

Here’s what needs to happen between now and mid-July when the final “mark-up” of the bill is expected. (Mark-up is the process that creates a final draft of the legislation and creates a common Senate/House bill.)

  • Write to your two Senators and your member of the House through he AARC’s Capitol Connection system.
  • Urge your patients to use Capitol Connection to send a letter as well. A special email template has been developed for them.
  • Ask the physicians in your hospital to weigh in as well.

AARC is also activating its 435 process. This means that respiratory therapists and respiratory patients in each of the nation’s 435 Congressional districts will be on the ground writing, visiting and calling their members of Congress to advocate for this provision. You lend heft to their efforts by doing the same.