For reasons no one has yet explained, a provision in the new health care reform law removes a previously Congressionally-mandated discount to children’s hospitals for drugs used to treat so-called “orphan diseases,” illnesses that are not common enough for the drugs to be profitable. Pharmaceutical companies have begun notifying the hospitals that they no longer qualify for the discounts, and the change will cost hundreds of millions of dollars, as well as put sick kids at risk.
Under the new law, hundreds of rural hospitals became eligible for drug discounts for the first time, but under another provision, children’s hospitals lost discounts, which range from 30-50% . Not only that: many of the drugs removed from the discount program are used to treat more common maladies as well.
The physicians are horrified. Joshua D. Greenberg, vice president of Children’s Hospital Boston, said that loss of the discounts “jeopardizes our ability to care for some of the sickest children with the most complex health care needs.” Democrats are abashed: one House Democrat told the New York Times that the situation resulted from “an honest mistake in drafting,” and added, “No one intended to take away any of the drug discounts that children’s hospitals already had.” For its part, the Times paved the way for excuses for the law it re;entlessly promoted by calling the result an “unintended consequence” of healthcare reform.
Not so fast. This isn’t an example of “unintended consequences,” which is when complex actions lead to results no one could have predicted. Don’t let anyone, especially a Democratic supporter, a blind admirer of the health care bill, or a fan of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, , feed you that deceitful line. The loss of the drug discount occurred because…
Nobody read the bill!!!!!!
In their offensive, undemocratic, arrogant and incompetent rush to get the 3000 page monstrosity passed without allowing genuine debate on the merits or providing a full opportunity for the public to know what was in it, OR a real assessment of the costs and consequences of the law to the many groups whose lives would be affected by it—-like sick children— Democrats in the House and Senate allowed the bill to swell to unreadable proportions, and then not only neglected to read what they were voting for, but baldly admitted that they weren’t reading it. Pass the bill to learn what’s in it, Speaker Pelosi said…and she meant just that.
Well, we still haven’t learned what is in it. The loss of the discount for children’s hospitals isn’t the last unpleasant surprise waiting, you can count on it. There will be more. And none of them are unpredictable, “unintended consequences” of a complex law. They are 100% predictable consequences of the unethical lack of diligence, competence and respect for the lawmaking process by a callous group of reckless ideologues who were determined to pass something called “health care reform” but couldn’t be bothered to make sure that damn thing didn’t hurt people…by reading it. By checking it.
By making sure they knew what was in it before they passed it.
Every single Senator and House member who voted for the final bill is responsible for the current plight of children with orphan diseases.
If that doesn’t make you furious, nothing will.