Sleep apnea bill moves closer to passage as Senate introduces version

| September 25, 2013

sleep apnea

A version of the sleep apnea bill introduced this month in the House has now been introduced in the Senate, sponsored by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.). 

The bill if passed would require that any action taken by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in regards to sleep disorder screening requirements for carriers come in the form of a rule and not the previously hinted at guidance, so that the regulation can be made via the formal rulemaking process and be properly evaluated. 

Related: Agency says it will use rulemaking on sleep apnea regulation

The Senate version has been referred to the Commerce, Science and Transportation committee. It’s currently unclear when the bill will see further action.

The House’s two-page version has seen somewhat of an expedient path to passage, passing the House’s transportation committee Sept. 19 — just one week after it was introduced — and now scheduled to be brought to the House floor Sept. 25.

It even invoked response from FMCSA last week, who issued a statement saying it would approach sleep disorder screening regs via the formal rulemaking process. 

In a letter issued to House colleagues, Rep. Larry Buschon (R-Md.), sponsor of the House version, said the annual cost for the industry of screening, diagnosing and treating obstructive sleep apnea “could exceed $1 billion annually.” Because of the high cost to the industry, he said — and “in the interest of due process” — the bill deserves “full consideration” by “all affected stakeholders, including the drivers themselves,” along with a proper cost-benefit analysis. 

FMCSA-issued guidance, he said, would “sidestep a thorough analysis.” 

Click here to read more about Buschon’s letter, and click here to see Overdrive‘s coverage of the agency’s response.

  • Debieve

    Stupid is as stupid does! These Senators need to purchase a machine for their own use..See how they like it when they try to sleep peacefully..biggest crock I’ve ever heard..don’t use my taxes to buy your pathetic machines!

  • Paul Haller

    Well this is proof that the more formal education one squires the stupider one becomes.. I just can’t believe what THEY are trying to do, where is this going…

  • MercenaryMan

    The fact it moved thru the house so fast is proof of the Lobbys ability to grease the legislation thru, Im not sure how long RULEMAKING takes, but drivers, its not going to be just fat guys, remember the little questionaire, the 5 easy questions to determine if your a subject….Ill bet we all face it, there not going to be satisfied with the 3 percent…not when the projected yearly take is 5 BILLION, NOT 1 BILLION, but again Work the numbers, 4400,00 average cost per driver, paid OUT OF POCKET if your insurance doesnt cover VOO DOO SCIENCE…I will admit some guys have this issue, Sleep Apnea is dangerous, and if left untreated can cause death…..those that have sought and need this God Bless you and Im thankful for your discovery of treatment, BUT 1 million drivers DO NOT SUFFER THIS MALADY, a DRIVERS SAFETY RECORD, and CSA points, and accidents listed on the MVR should all be considered before you stygmitize and industry in hopes of raising millions in stock to profit from your investments in GE, RESMED, AND PHILLIPS

  • Bret McClary

    it’s all about the money the sleep docs. got a good lobby and now they want there slice of our pie.

  • MercenaryMan
  • MercenaryMan

    Heres an article on dental sleep apnea treatments but they dont want to use these, they dont own the stock…

  • MercenaryMan
  • MercenaryMan
  • MercenaryMan

    Sleep apnea has likely become more common because the population has grown older and more obese — two major risk factors for the disorder. The National Institutes of Health estimates that more than 12 million Americans suffer from the apnea. It doesnt say ONE THIRD OF TRUCKERS…..With 300 million folks in the USA, THATS A POPULATION OF 12 MILLION, who possibly, might, maybe….

  • MercenaryMan

    Maybe once were all diagnosed we can claim disability as the Veterans do, heres an article about so called abuse of the sleep apnea disability…Ill bet when hundreds of thousands of truckers decided to file for Disability with Sleep Apnea, this ends quick

  • outtacntrl

    I don’t know how I’ve survived 30+ years driving. I guess I should be dead. I am sure thankful the Gov. brought this to my attention. Wow did this just happen over night? Or have we just survived fine not knowing?

  • MercenaryMan

    There already going after other industrys, COPS….The 4,957 study participants were recruited from the Philadelphia Police Department and Massachusetts State Police. Of the participants, 82% were men, 85% were white, and 79% were overweight or obese.

  • MercenaryMan

    The Dean for Faculty and Research Integrity at Harvard Medical School notified the Editor of SLEEP on February 10, 2009, that they completed a review of both publications and reached the conclusion that Robert B. Fogel, M.D., former Harvard Medical School Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, falsified and fabricated data that were reported in the paper and the abstract. All other authors on the paper and on the abstract were found to be innocent of misconduct. Having been retracted based on falsified data, the paper and abstract should not be cited.

    Fogel RB, Malhotra A, Dalagiorgou G, Robinson MK, Jakab M, Kikinis R, Pittman SD, White DP. Anatomic and physiologic predictors of apnea severity in morbidly obese subjects. Sleep 2003; 26(2):150-155.

    Fogel RB, Malhotra A, Pillar G, Dalagiorgou G, Pittman S, Jalab M, Robinson, M, White DP. The effect of surgically induced weight loss on sleep disordered breathing and pharyngeal anatomy. Sleep (Abstract Supplement) 2001;24: A7.

  • Jerry Todd

    It,s called corporate welfare,These Quacks and or a medical supply company have a shoddy service or product to sell. Of course it,s cost is to high for drivers or their insurance to afford so taxpayers will have to fund the difference! So drivers get more poking prodding and lighter wallets.

  • julian

    You have problem , stop making delivery times in the middle of the night . Do not ask me for location every 2 hours when I did notify about my 10 hrs rest period . Start recognizing drivers as a humans . Put the HUMAN FACTOR in to all regulations first then expect to follow the rules.

  • GSP

    This gives them a chance to say they did something while they do nothing about the real issues that threaten this country.
    The governments nice work in the home finance area destroyed the home building industry by creating a boom then decade bust. I had to change from construction work to truck driving and now hope they don’t destroy this industry before I can retire.

    Anyone want to go to some estate sales and see if we can find some vented gas cans? You know the ones that actually worked good until congress got involved.

  • USMC 69-75

    Complain, Complain, Complain……. (could use other terminology, but refuse to!)

    Want to stop this B/S, the e-logs, high fuel prices, the EPA and global warming bull, where they are killing trucks and jobs, etc,etc,etc……join in on the shut down 10/11/13 thru 10/13/13 and have your voice heard. Either get you hands dirty, or crawl back under the porch and whine on!

  • EF McHenry

    100% CORRECT!! I’m starting to here some people say about this sleep apnea nonsense ”it’s the new chiropratic,” another words ”the new quackery!!” Good comment!

  • EF McHenry

    Yes very good article! Spot on!!

  • Truckertwotimes

    I tell you the truth Ladies and Gentlemen, if those running this Country had to adhere to the same rules and regulations in respect to what Truck Drivers do, it would not be in the shape it is in now…. A Men and A Men

  • Truckertwotimes


  • Truckertwotimes

    Can I get a HELL YELL! Let them sleep in their homes without air conditioning and heat like Truck Drivers are forced to do i.e. California if one does not have an APU or work for a Company that has an APU A Men and A Men!!!

  • Truckertwotimes

    And I say A Men again…

  • Truckertwotimes

    Come on Brother, preach it! Also Drug Tests for them all!!!!

  • Truckertwotimes

    I feel you…. They got my home, great scheme there, mortgage payment was only $320.00 a month, yeah, these guys are slick as oiled glass

  • Truckertwotimes

    Well out of two test’s I had one said I had it, so I bought my own machine and it didn’t help another test later said I didn’t have it and that Dr. said there isn’t any gray area either you have it or you don’t and either the machine works or it don’t, this is hogwash

  • MercenaryMan

    Ive got a better Idea, If its good for me, Its good for them, I want to see there driving records, they sit in judgement of me and my ability to work and feed my aging mom whose blind, Lets see the Medical Boards Driving records, any accidents, tickets, maybe they need to be fitted and let to try and sleep with a non disease….Our safey record, my CSA score, My PSP record should all be part of this, If thats clear a PASS should be given, but GREED will overcome Common Sense, not this time, ITS TIME TO FIGHT

  • Lenny Ladner

    Concerning Sleep
    Apnea Testing.

    As far as I am
    concerned this proposal is nothing more than in increase in the size, cost,
    reach and power of government.

    If I were in
    congress I would refuse to provide funding for this regulation and if this
    agency persisted in trying to shove this regulation
    down our throats in the name of safety I would put up a bill to defund this
    agency and once the money if cut off this agency would no longer become a
    threat to truckers.

    Victor Hugo said
    that in a democracy you can choose your executioner. I am sick and tired
    of watching my tax dollars go to the government that is trying to imprison
    working people. If this government and said agency’s were so concerned about
    trucking safety they should stop giving special rights deals privileges to
    foreigners so they can get into trucking. If I were in congress I would also
    work to cut off all funding of deals and privileges to foreigners.

    This is another
    classic case of the government creating a problem and then offers a solution
    which gives them more power and takes away your rights and liberties. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.