Last week we had the privilege of meeting with one of Tennessee’s vocal homecare champions, Representative Marsha Blackburn. She wholeheartedly advocates for patient choice and continues to work diligently to repeal the problematic “Competitive Bidding” Program. As the elections draw near, do you know where your candidates stand concerning homecare issues?
At Homecare Advocate, we meet with elected officials to educate about homecare’s benefits and lobby for legislation that will positively impact the patients of those we serve. We have worked closely with Representative Blackburn and her staff through the years and can attest that she is able to cut through the bureaucratic clutter and assess how policy will impact her constituents and America at large. Blackburn values patient freedom, access, and choice and recognizes the tremendous opportunity of home- and community-based services to reign in on Medicare’s burgeoning budget.
Blackburn’s experience with TennCare while serving as a Tennessee state senator taught her about the devastating effects of a well-intended but poorly designed government program. The commonalities between the issues with TennCare and the government-run Competitive Bidding Program are striking. She and Representative Phil Roe (a practicing physician at that time) concluded that the TennCare results “nearly bankrupted the state, reduced the quality of care, and collapsed under its own weight”. We certainly do not want this to happen in Medicare, but many are concerned that the bidding program will reap similar consequences as an unsustainable model that jeopardizes beneficiary access and quality of care, creates significant cost-shifting to more expensive modalities of care, and empowers government bureaucrats to artificially consolidate an entire industry by eliminating 90% of home medical equipment companies.
According to her Web site, Blackburn “believes that market based reforms, that put patients and not Federal bureaucrats in the drivers seat, are the best means to expand access at a lower cost.”
This video is from a 2009 interview with Fox News discussing health care:
On August 16th, Representative Blackburn was recognized as the 2012 Champion for Homecare Award recipient by Tennessee’s home medical equipment state association, ATHOMES.
During her acceptance speech, she discussed the important role the homecare plays in curbing expenses in health care while promoting better patient outcomes and being the preferred choice of patients. As co-chair of the GOP Platform Committee for this year’s GOP Convention in Tampa, she is tasked with writing the Republican manifesto. What an opportunity for Republican leadership to be mindful of homecare’s impact in health care!
We need more leadership like Representative Blackburn who recognize the tremendous opportunity homecare brings for quality of life, financial efficiency, and patient choice. It truly is a bipartisan issue that crosses political bounds, brings families together, and is part of the solution to our country’s health care crisis.