This Tuesday, we remembered another Tuesday morning eleven years ago when terrorists perpetrated the deadliest attack on U.S. soil in our nation’s history. My statement on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks can be found on my website.
By Wednesday morning, we had received news of the attacks on our embassies in Cairo, Egypt and Benghazi, Libya. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of Ambassador Stevens and the other brave Americans killed in Libya.
Flags over the US Capitol have been flown at half-staff in honor of those who lost their lives in the attackas our nation mourns this tragic loss.
In this newsletter, you will find many new updates from Washington regarding this week’s NC Business & Economic Development Summit, my Small Business Subcommittee hearing regarding the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment competitive bidding program and my statement on today’s passage of “The No More Solyndras Act.”
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Examining the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment Program
For years, Medicare’s benefit for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) has been plagued by a fee schedule with high error rates and above-market costs for the Medicare program, beneficiaries, and taxpayers. In response, in 2003, Congress established a competitive bidding program designed to provide greater value while ensuring beneficiary access to supplies and satisfaction with them. Although CMS recently reported that 51% of winning DMEPOS suppliers were small businesses, some small suppliers believe the program favors large companies and they are at a disadvantage. This week’s hearing examined the bidding process and whether it favors large companies over small suppliers.
As the program begins to expand beyond 9 to 100 Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the next year, it is important that Congress oversees its development to ensure that prices are competitive, small suppliers have the opportunity to compete fairly, and taxpayer money is used wisely. The efficient operation of this program is vitally important because numerous patients rely on medical equipment and many of the suppliers are small businesses that are important to our economic recovery.
This hearing began the process – but going forward we must seek to ensure that this program protects patient access to the vital products and care they need. While I strongly believe in the competitive forces of the private market, the process by which the competition is conducted must be fair – and truly competitive.
Click Here for materials from the hearing on the House Small Business Committee’s website.
Click Here to view video of the hearing.
Passage of No More Solyndras Act
This afternoon, the House passed H.R. 6213 – “The No More Solyndras Act” – a bill to ensure taxpayers are never again stuck paying hundreds of millions of dollars because of the Obama administration’s or any future president’s risky bets
The legislation draws on lessons learned from the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s investigation into the Department of Energy’s $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra – the California solar panel manufacturer that ultimately went bankrupt last summer leaving taxpayers on the hook for half a billion dollars. For more information, please visit the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s website by clicking here.
The Solyndra scandal has been one of the clearest examples of political cronyism and backdoor deal making at the expense of hardworking American taxpayers. As elected officials and public servants, we have a responsibility to ensure that public funds are being used in a fiscally-responsible manner. The federal government was not established to make sweetheart deals and pick winners and losers in the private sector and I’m happy to see that with this bill, we are taking a new step in the right direction.
NC Chamber Delegation Roundtable
Congresswoman Ellmers speaks at NC Business & Economic Development Summit, September 10, 2012.
Guardian of Small Business by NFIB
I’m honored that the National Federation of Independent Business has recognized my work in Congress and how I have used my position on the House Small Business Committee to protect the free enterprise system that makes our economy prosper. Here in the House, we will continue to fight for common sense policies that will put America back to work, remove costly regulations that are crippling our small businesses, and balance our budget. I am very grateful for this award and thank NFIB for the work they are doing to protect job creators throughout the country.
NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner awarded Congresswoman Ellmers for standing for small business, stating “the record shows that Rep. Ellmers is a true champion of small business, having stood strong on the key small business votes in the 112th Congress.”