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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Is Tonight the Night for Health Care Reform?


This could be an historic night, and certainly a polarizing one across America. Why not just refer to the wonderful Friday Update email I get every Friday from Kisa Carter at HFA? On Friday she wrote:

"The House is expected to vote on an amended version of the Senate Bill on Sunday. If passed, the bill will enact the Senate version of the health care reform bill with the House bill changes. The President and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have spent the week discussing the bill and seem confident that the bill will be brought to the House floor for a vote in the next 72 hours. A section by section analysis of the changes made in the reconciliation bill can be found at:"

http://www.rules.house.gov/111_hr4872_secbysec.html

CNN reports active debate happening even as I write: at 8:58 p.m. "Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop of New York said that "amidst angry and at times even hateful rhetoric, amidst the misinformation and scare tactics, there exists one simple truth, and that truth is that the current system is unsustainable." And Republican Rep. Tom Price, a doctor from Georgia, said health care is a "moral endeavor and should be grounded in principle. This is a sad day, yes, because there are so many wonderful and positive and patient-centered solutions that could be enacted." Earlier, in an impassioned speech, Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, urged his colleagues to pass the bill.

Tomorrow morning should have big news for us in the bleeding disorders community. One good news is that in the current bill the House voted to eliminate lifetime limits on all plans, effective six months after the bill passes, Kisa says. She adds, "Annual limits will be eliminated by 2014 and have restrictions on annual limits until then. This is great news for the bleeding disorders community. Below are a few links to the Congressional Budget office's reports on the latest version of the House bill."

http://cboblog.cbo.gov/?p=508
http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/113xx/doc11355/hr4872.pdf

This has been a gut-wrenching year for everyone, as the nation tries to enact health care reform but digs in its heels on different principles regarding how to do it. For us, even if the only thing that changed were that lifetime limits were eliminated, it would be a victory.

(Please sign up for Kisa's Friday Update by visiting www.hemophiliafed.org)

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