Congress Reps. Clear the Air on Competitive Bidding

Two Congress members have set out to clear the air about their work to fix Medicare’s competitive bidding system, after claiming an article from USA Today inaccurately represented them. 

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) and Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) claimed that as co-sponsors of a bill to fix the program, the USA Today article portrayed them as having sinister motives.

The article argued that the current Medicare competitive bidding program is “producing big savings and has the potential to cut costs even more.”

The feelings of Price and Ellmers conveyed a contrasting sentiment toward the bidding system, they said.

“These charges are unfounded and serve as a distraction from the dangerous practices being undertaken by the so-called competitive bidding program,” wrote the Representatives. “This program has morphed into a nightmare of new bureaucratic headaches and unintended consequences.”

Price and Ellmers also went on to say that nationwide, health agencies, medical supply companies and local pharmacies will suffer as a result of a bidding process that lacks transparency.

“The new competitive bidding process imposes artificial contract prices, permits non-binding bids, and shifts the costs to other Medicare categories—thereby nullifying any of the supposed savings,” they said. “This is not how a market works.”

Price’s and Ellmers’ efforts even garnered applause from the American Association for Homecare. 

“AAHomecare thanks Reps. Price and Ellmers for their continuing support of our effort to fix the bidding program by making it one that is truly competitive, sustainable in the long-term and considerate of the patient it serves,” the association wrote.

Read the USA Today article.

Written by Jason Oliva

Jason Oliva