Lack of coverage cover up?

Bet you never saw this one coming.

House Republicans burned the midnight oil this week to draft legislation to actually strengthen the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. After dozens of failed attempts to repeal the landmark legislation– at a cost of God knows how much time and taxpayer money – it look like House Republicans are taking the more practical, if belated, approach to fixing this broken mess.

Congressmen drafted the House bill, dubbed the “Helping Sick Americans Now Act,” to provide additional funding for the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, the high-risk pool the new health law created as a way of bridging the gap for those with pre-existing conditions until the PPACA is fully implemented.

The legislation would simply transfer funds from the Public Health and Prevention Fund to PCIP.

After exhausting all other options, are they finally coming to terms with the fact that this law’s here to stay? Or is it the fact that this particular fund is already flat-broke? And a full year sooner than expected? Seriously, the fund burned through a whopping $5 billion in three years.

And what was the administration’s reaction to this “unexpected” shortfall? Oh, well, to shut it down. Never mind that whole extending health care coverage to all Americans business. The campaign’s over. It’s time to get back to real life.

There are a number of unsettling things about this story. One, that the administration was so quick to write off such a critical component of this law. Two, according to published reports, the program actually enrolled less than a third of the people they expected to – and the well still ran dry in record time.

So, honestly, what kind of confidence can any of us have in the cost (and coverage) projections for the rest of Obamacare? I know, I know. We’ve gone down this road before, but this is a pretty solid test case the law clearly failed. This does not bode well for January, when we see this blown up on a much larger scale.

It’s worth commending, though, the House Republicans who stepped forward to address this mess without letting it get swept quietly under the rug. I’m sure they have their ulterior motives, but I can live with that in this case. Who knows, maybe compassionate conservatism is back?

Speaking of which, just where is the mainstream media coverage of this debacle? That’s what I thought.

About the Author
Denis Storey

Denis Storey

Denis Storey is editor for BenefitsPro.com and Benefits Selling magazine. He can be reached at dstorey@benefitspro.com.


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