June 25, 2019

CRT Stakeholders and Friends,

We wanted to share two very positive developments regarding our Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) legislation:

CRT Manual Wheelchair Bill Included In New House Legislation: The House Ways & Means Committee will be holding a markup session (Committee review and approval session) tomorrow that will include a proposed health care bill entitled the "HEARTS and Rural Relief Act". This new bill includes the CRT Manual Wheelchair bill language from H.R. 2293 and is bipartisan being led by Representatives Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Devin Nunes (R-CA). It also includes three non-CRT provisions, with the lead item relating to Veterans' health care for returning troops.
The inclusion of our CRT language in a larger bill is excellent news and the fact the bill is going through the Committee "markup" process places the bill in a much stronger position for a full House vote. Our immediate objective is to get the new bill approved by the Committee at tomorrow's markup session.

We are asking CRT stakeholders to review the list of Ways & Means Committee Members here and if your Representative is on the Committee to contact their office and ask them to approve the "HEARTS and Rural Relief Act" at the markup session. We thank Chairman Richie Neal (D-MA), Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX) and our House leads Representatives John Larson (D-CT) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY) for their leadership in protecting access to CRT!

National Consumer/Clinician Groups CRT Letters To Congress: Last Friday the ITEM Coalition, a national organization of consumer and medical professional organizations, sent three letters to Congress in support of our CRT legislation. The letters were signed by 32 national groups including the United Spinal Association, National MS Society, ALS Association, National Coalition for Independent Living, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Amputee Coalition, Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, Spina Bifida Association, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Occupational Therapy Association, American Physical Therapy Association, and Clinician Task Force. Our sincere thanks to ITEM and all the signing organizations for their support!

You can access the letters here: H.R. 2293 House Complex Rehab Wheelchair Bill, S. 1223 Senate Complex Rehab Wheelchair Bill, and H.R. 2408 House Separate Benefit Category Bill. If your Members have not signed on as cosponsors yet, take this opportunity to share the appropriate letter with them to reinforce your request.

These developments are great progress but we need to keep the momentum moving forward. As we continue to work with our Congressional champions, please use the resources at www.protectmymobility.org to reach out to your Members asking them to cosponsor and help get the bills passed. An ongoing team effort is what will get us over the finish line to protect access for individuals with disabilities!