Anyone who has been in the military or has rushed to an airport only to find that one's flight has been delayed knows the feeling. You know, that feeling of being in overdrive, just to stop suddenly in your tracks and be placed "on hold" for an inordinate amount of time. Well, that's where things are now with Health Care Reform (HCR) – "on hold." The election of Republican Scott Brown to the Massachusetts Senate seat formerly held by the late Senator Edward Kennedy took the wind out of the sails of Health Care Reform as the Democrats lost their 60th vote – the vote to stop a filibuster. What happens now is anyone's guess as leaders of both parties scramble to maximize their political positions.
The scenarios being painted on the rumor mill are plentiful and probably far-fetched. One holds that the House will just adopt the Senate bill as passed with no questions asked and no changes to the bill, and send it to the President for signature. Another is the House passes the Senate bill with an unwritten agreement to address differences between the bills and make changes in another bill later this year. A different version of this scenario is that the House and Senate leaders agree on changes in advance and use another bill as a vehicle to incorporate the changes.
Still another scenario is to let everything die and just do nothing. Another possibility is for House and Senate leaders to pare down the HCR bill to be an insurance reform bill only, but require all to obtain insurance coverage. And on and on and on…
Meanwhile, the various components of the health care system continue to limit access to care for patients with primary immunodeficiency diseases. Health care costs, premiums and out-of-pocket costs continue to climb, and inadequate reimbursements to physicians shrink the number of sites of care. We are all forced to just "Hurry Up and Wait!"