Makers and sellers of wheelchairs, oxygen machines and other medical equipment are on the verge of getting Congress to delay, if not scrap, a new program the Bush administration says would save Medicare about $1 billion a year.
For years, lawmakers and the Bush administration have complained that Medicare pays much more than private insurers and the general public for medical equipment. For example, Medicare pays $1,825 for a hospital bed that can be found on the Internet for about $750, says the program's acting administrator Kerry Weems.
In 2003, Congress authorized a new payment system. It determined that Medicare would quit paying a set fee that the government updates annua