By: BRIGHAM MCCOWN
On the campaign trail, every candidate seems to promise to “stand up for our military.” At the presidential level this year, you hear it from both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Federal and state-level campaigns are no different. If elected officials simply kept their word, a serious healthcare issue facing our military men and women would not be a reality right now.
Congress recently allowed the prices derived from the Medicare bidding system for home medical equipment in major metro areas to be applied to rural America and other less densely populated areas previously excluded from the bid program. The resulting cuts for home medical equipment providers in these rural areas – up to 50-60 percent vs. the rates in effect in 2015 for many commonly used items – have been devastating for suppliers in these rural communities, who face significant extra costs in serving patients spread over a wider geographical area than their urban counterparts. As a result, Medicare beneficiaries across rural America are struggling to find suppliers who can meet their medical equipment needs, forcing many to pay out of pocket to get essential medical equipment.
I know what you’re thinking: “That sounds like a problem, but how does it impact our military or our veterans?”