Congress eyes limiting FMCSA on apnea guidance

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | 9/18/2013

Truck drivers have an opportunity to help ensure that a full discussion is held before new health requirements are issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is urging its national membership to call their congressional representative in the United States House and urge him or her to support H.R. 3095. The newly introduced legislation would require FMCSA to go through its regulatory process and analyze the potential cost of sleep apnea requirements rather than simply issuing guidance to physicians, drivers and motor carriers.

Introduced last week by U.S. Reps Larry Bucshon, R-IN, and Dan Lipinski, D-IL, H.R. 3095 states “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 vehicles for sleep disorders only if the requirement is adopted pursuant to a rulemaking proceeding.”

When introducing the bill, Bucshon and Lipinski told colleagues in congress about FMCSA’s reported plans to issue guidance that would require all CDL-holders with a body mass index of 35 or greater, or drivers who report taking an occasional workday nap, to undergo a sleep study at a lab.

“Lab-based sleep tests run into the thousands of dollars and are generally not covered by a trucker’s health insurance plan,” OOIDA’s Call to Action reads.

“Please call your representative in the U.S. House as soon as possible and urge them to co-sponsor H.R. 3095 by contacting either the office of Representative Buschon (pronounced: “Boo-shon”) or the office of Representative Lipinski.

To contact your representative in the U.S. House, call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and provide the operator with your home ZIP code. If you prefer to email your representative, click here (or here on your smartphone) and enter your home ZIP code.

To read more Land Line coverage about H.R. 3095, click here.

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