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It's Official: Health Care Reform is the Law of the Land

President Obama has now signed the health care reform bill into law. It has been a long, winding and wild journey to this historical point. I’ve been asked what the law means to the primary immunodeficiency diseases community. Well, some things are evident and others will evolve as the implementation process proceeds to the January 2014 date when most of the provisions kick-in.

In the article above this blog on the Advocacy Center page are provisions that take effect 6 months from President Obama’s signing of the legislation, including the end of health insurance companies dropping coverage for people after they get sick, the end to lifetime caps on coverage and the end to restrictive annual limits on coverage. Regarding the latter provision, beginning in 2014 all annual limits on coverage will be prohibited.

A concern of many is what to do about the health insurance coverage of children on PIDD who are growing up, graduating from college and entering the work force. In most cases now, young adult patients with PIDD have to get off their parents’ coverage when they turn 21 or 22. The new law allows young adults to continue their coverage on their parents’ policy to age 26 whether they are in school or not.

What remains to be seen is how the implementation of the new law will be conducted. IDF will be following that closely and intervening when appropriate to advocate on behalf of the PIDD patient community.

In the weeks and months to come, please keep checking the IDF Advocacy Center for updates and explanations of what the law of the land is and how it affects the PIDD community.

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Comments

As a PIDD patient and parent of PIDD children we desperately needed health reform, however this bill is terrible. Written behind closed doors to the exclusion of the minority party, it does not do what it proponents to do and does not give PIDD patients the security we need. We would have liked the provisions of the IViG legislation we have worked for for three year. A correction of an unintended consequence that still has not been fixed. Is this what we have to look forward to with the entire healthcare system taken over by the government? We are now seeing a disturbing trend of Insurance companies changing specialty pharmacy drugs from a medical benefit to an Rx coverage and making it a tier 5 drug with a 50% co-pay. The bill offers no solution to that. As I am currently getting my healthcare coverage through my wife there is nothing in this bill that will immediately help me or my family. Honestly I fear that in the long run it will cost us more and make access to our drugs and physicians far more difficult.

With that said, I seriously doubt that the Republicans who have allowed any heath insurance reform if they had been able to defeat this bill. In the end, for many of us, it is better than nothing.

IVIG is so expensive that I suspect it will be one of the first things denied by the health care reform panels. Thus, instead of some people being able to get IVIG and some not, it won't be long before only the very rich can afford it ... and ultimately even they won't be able to get it because it won't be produced anymore.