The Bush administration has suggested to Congress that it cut Medicare home oxygen reimbursements by $6.8 billion over 10 years to help fund the annual Farm Bill, according to a Department of Agriculture letter sent to lawmakers March 2.
Right now, wheezers are entitled to 36 months of O2 after getting out of the hospital. The letter suggests trimming that to 13 months.
This is bound to be a real publicity coup for Bush and for the farm lobby–something that House Agricultural Committee Chair Collin Peterson (D-MN) noted in his speech to the farm lobby in Las Vegas on Monday:
"Some of our critics would probably have a field day if we are taking payments away from people on oxygen and they would say we are giving it to wealthy farmers, probably," Peterson said.