APTA Legislation Receives Bi-Partisan Support

The Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act (S 46/HR 43), introduced January 6, 2009, would permanently repeal the Medicare beneficiary therapy caps. Here's what sponsors of the bill said at its introduction on the first day of the 111th Congress.

Senator John Ensign (R-NV)
"Therapy is necessary to effectively manage and confront many age-related diseases, such as stroke, Parkinson's, and congenital heart failure. Every year in the Senate we debate this issue of therapy caps, and this year needs to be the last."

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
"I am concerned that Medicare beneficiaries recovering from a stroke, hip fracture, or other disease or condition requiring extensive therapy will not be able to receive all of the services they need under this cap. Moreover, Medicare patients will have an incentive to seek services in the hospital outpatients setting, which are not subject to the cap and are more expensive."

Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
"Therapy caps can preclude seniors from getting the care they need to maintain a healthy quality of life. I will continue my work in the 111th Congress to find a legislative solution so that patients receive the quality care they need without undue burden. As a nation, we have a responsibility to protect and support our seniors, and I remain committed to fighting on their behalf."

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)
"Rehabilitation therapies are critical to helping so many Americans recover from injuries and debilitating illnesses. We should be helping seniors get the therapy they need so they can resume their normal lives, not putting up road blocks to their recoveries. Year after year, Congress has shown its disapproval for these arbitrary therapy caps with short-term fixes. We must take action now to eliminate them permanently."

Representative Xavier Becerra (D-CA)
"Everyday, Americans who suffer from debilitating diseases like Parkinson's or are recovering from serious injury need medical therapy in order to reach their highest functional level. It is outrageous that in addition to focusing on their rehabilitation, they also have to worry about whether they will exceed Medicare's monetary caps. These arbitrary caps on physical, occupational and speech therapy are incompatible with the goal of recovering these patients' ability to function normally in their everyday lives."

Representative Mike Ross (D-AR)
"Congress has a responsibility to pass a permanent solution for therapy caps to ensure our nation's consumers continue to receive much-needed treatments. I am proud to join with my colleagues as an original cosponsor of this important legislation to provide long-term relief to patients and health care providers, and I will continue to advocate for its passage in the House of Representatives."

Representative Roy Blunt (R-MO)
"Congress has voted time and again to temporarily fix an unintended consequence of legislation passed more than a decade ago. It's about time that we pass a permanent fix so people on Medicare can receive the therapy their doctors recommend without having to worry about arbitrary payment caps."

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