ISRC Government Affairs Chair is in High Gear

by Tammy Poole, RRT and John T Murphy, RRT

Tammy Poole, RRT represented Respiratory Therapists in the US Capitol
Tammy Poole, RRT represented Respiratory Therapists in the US Capitol, Washington, DC and testified during a successful Capitol Hill Advocacy Day April 9th. Tammy is the committee chair for Governmental Affairs.

Tammy Poole reported to the ISRC BOD April 5 that we met the challenge to reach over 1000 new advocates with Virtual Lobby (VL) action. This pushed up the ISRC ratings for the week. Lobby week was 5/27 to 4/10 and motivated members engaging everyone for communication and im-proved awareness with their legislators for two key actions.

ASK #1: Co-Sponsor the BREATHE Act; Introduce a Senate Companion Bill. The Better Respiration through Expanding Access to Tele-Health Act (the BREATHE Act) which, when introduced, will allow qualified respiratory therapists as telehealth practi-tioners to deliver disease management services to Medicare beneficiaries with COPD.

ASK #2: Direct CMS to monitor access to liquid oxygen during the suspension of competitive bidding to en-sure patients are not adversely impacted. Starting January 1, 2019, Medicare suspended its competi-tive bidding program for 18-24 months (e.g., gap period), rec-ognizing flaws in the program and the need to establish a new bidding process that leads to more accurate payment for services; however, individuals who need liquid oxygen sys-tems may be seriously impacted by this change.

For ISRC and Indiana, Tammy and our lobbyist, Mark provided a live link State-Level Bill Tracker; and it is automatically updated as action occurs with these bills.

The 2nd link provides access to the text of bills.

SB 425: 2/6/2019: I testified for the ISRC in support of increasing the age to purchase tobacco and e- liquid products to 21. Passed 8/2 in the health and providers services committee. This bill was then sent to Tax and Fiscal policy committee.

HB 1444: 3/28/2019: $0.04 per fluid milliliter of consumable material nicotine tax on electronic ciga-rettes was proposed and passed through the House back in February; it is now on the senate side and the ISRC supported this.