47 Words In ObamaCare Bill Could Cost Hospitals Millions

Perhaps there is a reason that bills should be read and thoroughly examined prior to putting them up for a vote?

Partisan tensions on Capitol Hill are delaying efforts to fix an error in the federal health care law that could cost Children’s Hospital Boston and others like it millions of dollars in added drug costs.

Correcting the error would require changing just 47 words in the 1,880-page law, a task that a previous Congress might have accomplished in an afternoon. Instead, with Republicans fighting to repeal the health care bill rather than fix it and Democrats loath to acknowledge its flaws, months have passed with no resolution, and prospects for one in the lame-duck session are limited.

“We’re using expensive drugs for really sick kids,’’ said Joshua Greenberg, vice president of government relations at Children’s Hospital.

“What children’s hospitals are saying to the Senate is: This needs to be fixed, and it needs to be fixed this session.’’

Imagine that, yet another unforced error in the ObamaCare bill that could cost lots of money and cause healthcare problems. Who could have predicted that?

The error was a simple and unintentional omission in the final, frenetic days of drafting the landmark legislation and reconciling House and Senate versions. Congressional staff intended to allow children’s hospitals continued access to the portion of a federal program that offers below-market prices on 347 specific medicines for rare, life-threatening conditions. But that language was accidentally altered.

“It was a drafting error,’’ said a congressional aide familiar with the writing of the bill but not authorized to speak publicly.

Now, when someone like myself makes a goof when writing a post and/or headline, and fails to read over what was written, it’s no big deal. At the worst, it draws out the Internet Grammar Police. A misplaced word or incorrect word could change the meaning of the post, though. But, most people are smart enough to figure it out. When Congress fails to proofread, well, that’s a different story, because that then becomes law.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach. sit back and Relax. we’ll dRive!

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