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[News] ATA Applauds House Committee Passage of Sleep Apnea Bill
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ATA Applauds House Committee Passage of Sleep Apnea Bill

Today, the American Trucking Associations applauded the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for its swift approval of a bill that would prevent the Obama administration from using informal guidance to address sleep apnea.

"ATA believes that testing alone for obstructive sleep apnea of truck drivers could cost the industry nearly $1 billion," said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. "If our industry is to be burdened with such a cost, then the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration owes it to trucking to conduct a full and thorough rulemaking, including collection of scientific data and a cost-benefit analysis."

The bill, which was introduced by Reps. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.) and Dan Lipinski (D – Ill.), just last Thursday, has broad bipartisan support, already garnering nearly 50 cosponsors. The bill is being credited for the sudden receptiveness by FMCSA to a rulemaking. Nevertheless, members at this morning's markup agreed that there is still a need for the legislation.

"We'd like to thank Reps. Bucshon and Lipinski, as well as all our supporters in the House for moving this important bill forward," Graves said. "While FMCSA has said they are receptive to a rulemaking process in lieu of sleep apnea guidance, we urge the House and Senate to follow through with swift approval of HR 3095.

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Text of proposed bill:

HR 3095 IH

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE OPERATOR REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO SLEEP DISORDERS.

a) In General- The Secretary of Transportation may implement or enforce a requirement providing for the screening, testing, or treatment (including consideration of all possible treatment alternatives) of individuals operating commercial motor vehicles for sleep disorders only if the requirement is adopted pursuant to a rulemaking proceeding.

b) Applicability- Subsection (a) shall not apply to a requirement that was in force before September 1, 2013.

c) Sleep Disorders Defined- In this section, the term `sleep disorders' includes obstructive sleep apnea.
Membership in the Advisory Member group should not be understood as in any way implying medical expertise or qualification for advising Sleep Apnea patients concerning their treatment. The Advisory Member group provides advice and suggestions to Apnea Board administrators and staff on matters concerning Apnea Board operation and administrative policies - not on matters concerning treatment for Sleep Apnea. I think it is now too late to change the name of the group but I think Voting Member group would perhaps have been a more descriptive name for the group.
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