Though Democrats’ health care bill has already been signed into law, work on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is anything but complete. Last Wednesday, the House passed a bill that would make several technical corrections to the health bill hastily passed last March.
The authors of the PPACA never expected the version that passed the Senate on Christmas Eve to become the final version signed into law. But Scott Brown’s election in Massachusetts made it the only possible way Democrats could have passed their desired health care overhaul. Because of the slipshod way in which the legislation was crafted, the Veterans’, Seniors’, and Children’s Health Technical Corrections Act (H.R. 5712) was introduced to fix provisions containing errors or clearly unintentional consequences. This is expected to be the first of many fixes to the health care bill.
Obamacare would have taken residency slots away from teaching hospitals where residency positions are shared under “affiliation agreements” by incorrectly deeming these positions to be unfilled. H.R. 5712 clarifies this, ensuring that hospitals don’t lose their residency positions. The fix also clarifies language in Obamacare that would have excluded “orphan drugs” (drugs targeted to treat rare diseases) from coverage under Medicaid for children. Without corrections, Obamacare would have also delayed the update of the payment system for skilled nursing facilities.
The point here is that without them, Obamacare will have unintentional negative effects on the lives of Americans due solely to carelessness of the lawmakers who wrote this legislation and forced it through Congress. And these are just a drop in the bucket compared to the widespread harmful side effects the new health law will have. As the days pass, more evidence becomes available that the PPACA was a poorly constructed and destructive piece of legislation.