Patients Taking Oxygen Treatments Wonder Who Will Pay For Supplies - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/15/06-Tyler

Patients Taking Oxygen Treatments Wonder Who Will Pay For Supplies

Nearly one million Americans who take regular oxygen treatments tonight don't know if Medicare will keep paying for their needs.

Last week, the President signed into law $39 billion in spending cuts. Included, was language that transfers ownership of oxygen machines to patients after 13 months, but it cuts funding for the oxygen itself.

Those on treatments say oxygen at home is what keeps them independent.

Colleene Britton takes oxygen treatments.

"It's much less expensive to take oxygen at home and be independent, then have to go into a nursing home and double or triple the cost it's going to take to be in a nursing home."

There is a snag in that a version of the bill passed by the Senate has Medicare cutting off funding for oxygen after 36 months, not 13. The Consitution says the House and Senate must pass the same language for it to become law, so Congressman Louis Gohmert tells KLTV he expects the House to act as soon as Thursday to correct the problem.

He also says he'll work to make sure any new bill ensures Medicare will continue to pay for oxygen supplies.

Morgan Palmer, KLTV 7 News

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