Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Re: (OandP-L) Recent Legislation

Morris Gallo

Much has been made of our profession’s small size and lack of money, in
effect using these realities to apologize for at best a defeatist
attitude and at worse a sellout of our profession. We will never have
as many members as the PT’s or OT’s, nor will our PAC moneys be
considered significant by current industry standards. But these
shortcomings don’t necessarily doom us to losing or having to capitulate
to other’s interests. What does doom us is a defeatist attitude from
our “leaders”.

A good example is MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. This is a small
organization with virtually no money, yet they have impacted legislation
in all 50 states as well as on the Federal level. How did they
accomplish this? The liquor industry is much better financed, having
many paid lobbyists and VERY large PAC’s. There are millions of
drinkers but only several thousand MADD volunteers. Another Samson and
Goliath. Yet here Samson keeps winning! If they followed AOPA’s lead
we would probably have mandatory binge drinking and street side beer
coolers dispensing free beer. Instead, they know they are right and
will not accept less then what is right. They use their members to
write letters, call legislators, and have mounted a very effective
public relations campaign to educate the public and the lawmakers as to
their issues.

AOPA and the Academy, on the other hand, chose to keep members in the
dark while they cut a deal with BOC, PT’s, and OT’s. They then herald
how effective they were at legitimizing people with no education or
training as “qualified”. This is absurd! Using the excuse that the
other groups are “too big, we couldn’t have passed the bill without
letting them in”, is an indication the ship is not only sinking it’s
rotten and can’t be fixed. No bill would be better then what was
passed. Not only has AOPA succeeded in devaluing the ABC credential,
they have undermined efforts at state licensure.

Mr. Schultz crows about AOPA getting O&P a full CPI in return for
legitimizing those with no credentials. Trading integrity for money was
a lousy deal when Judas made it 2000 years ago and it’s still a lousy
deal. Mr. Schultz then goes on to further insult the profession by
equating us to “rats” eating the grain, and that AOPA’s goal was to
limit the number of rats that could feed! If Mr. Schultz remembers,
when the Harkin bill first came to light howls of protest were raised.
A much better bill was introduced by Rep. Wexler but got nowhere due to
lack of support and downright opposition from AOPA. This year Rep.
McCarthy also introduced a bill that would have required education and
training to be considered qualified, why wasn’t this bill pushed? There
was no protest from this list because only the insiders knew of the
impending bill and how the Harkin bill had been further bastardized. If
AOPA was truly concerned with limiting the “rats” in the Medicare silo
why not push for the ABC credential as the requirement for being
“qualified”, this would result in the fewest practitioners able to bill
Medicare. The issue of access is a red herring, there aren’t any car
factories in Florida but there are no shortages of car dealers or
inventory. There are shortages of doctors in rural areas but I don’t
see the Feds allowing PT’s to practice medicine. Your “facts” about
state licensure are less then factual. In Florida we passed a license
law without capitulating to PT’s, OT’s, or BOC. We established
education, training, and experience as the required standard for
licensure. And I will add, we passed licensure without any help from
the “National” office. Of the three organizations, a very limited
effort was made by ABC in sending Lance Hoxie to testify. Where were
the organizations purporting to represent the Certified Practitioner?

Who are the losers? ABC certified practitioners are the immediate
losers, but ultimately the public we serve are the the most impacted.
Patients are now going to be told it doesn’t matter what your education
or training is, instead, that if you are a PT/OT or work at a
“certified” facility you are “qualified” to treat them and get paid by
Medicare.

If you are as angry as I am go to the page listed below and subscribe.
I would like to mount a grassroots challenge to this bill and maybe even
a court challenge. This is your future, if you don’t get involved now
you probably won’t have another chance.

http://www.egroups.com/group/PandO-Medicare

Morris Gallo, CPO

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