Delivery Of CBO Scoring Opens Door For House Health Care Reform Vote As Early As Sunday

By Cynthia Marcotte Stamer

Time is running out for Americans to make their health care reform views known to key Congressional decision-makers. The stage now appears to be set for the House of Representatives to vote as early as Sunday on the Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872), the latest version of health care reform backed by President Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other key Congressional Democrats.   The impending deadline means that Americans concerned about the potential outcome of the impending vote need to act quickly if they wish to attempt to influence the decision. For tips about sharing your input with Congress effectively, see Getting Your Health Care Reform Message Heard By Key Congressional Leaders.

Developments Today Start Clock Running For Vote

On Thursday, March 18, 2010, two key developments set the stage for a vote on H.R. 4871 as early as Sunday:

  • The House Rules Committee posted the text of H.R. 4872 on its website; and
  • The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) delivered its scoring of H.R 4872 to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The delivery of CBO scoring started the clock running on the 72 hour mandatory period between the release of the CBO scoring and any final vote on the bill. This means the House could vote on H.R. 4872 as early as Sunday, March 21. 

If passed by the House, H.R. 4872 would make sweeping changes to the U.S. health care system impacting virtually every American patient, health care provider, employer and taxpayer.  To learn the facts about these proposed changes, read the full text of H.R. 4872 here.  

According to the CBO, H.R. 4872 will cost $940 billion over 10 years to extend coverage to 32 million uninsured people.  To learn more specifics about these CBO cost and other determinations, review the CBO scoring here.

This Is Only The Beginning: Stay Involved

The outcome of this latest health care reform push is only a small part of a continuing process.  Whether or not the President’s proposal or some other version of health care reform passes this week, Congress already has and will continue to consider other legislation impacting health care reform.  This reality is demonstrated by Congressional actions recently taken on the COBRA premium subsidy extension, Medical reimbursement for physicians, continuing federal efforts to develop and implement federal health care quality and technology standards, and other legislative, regulatory and enforcement actions taken while public attention has been focused largely only on the broader health care reform debate.

Upcoming mid-term elections will significantly impact the nature and scope of these upcoming efforts.  Perhaps even more significantly, the enactment of legislation is only a beginning point.  The real meaning of these or other health care reforms will be determined largely by the shaping and implementation of regulations and enforcement actions which generally are conducted outside the public eye.  Monitoring and staying active in these ongoing processes provides a critical opportunity to continue to monitor your issues and provide input to shape how they are addressed.

To help stay informed about health industry and other developments and  join the discussion about these and other health care reform proposals, concerned Americans are invited to join the Coalition for Responsible Health Care Reform Group on Linkedin and registering to receive these updates here.   

If you need assistance evaluating or formulating comments on the proposed reforms contained in the House Bill or on other health industry matters please contact Cynthia Marcotte Stamer at or 214.270.2402.

Ms. Stamer has extensive experience advising and assisting employers, health industry, and health insurance clients and others about a diverse range of health care, employee benefit, and employment policy, regulatory, compliance, risk management and operational concerns.  You can get more information about her health industry experience here.  

Former Chair of the American Bar Association Health Law Section Managed Care & Insurance Interest Group and currently Chair of the American Bar Association RPTE Employee Benefits & Compensation Committee, a Council Representative to the ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits and Vice President of the North Texas Health Care Compliance Association, Ms. Stamer is nationally recognized for more than 22 years work with health care providers, managed care and other payers, employers, governments and other clients on health care, employee benefit, and other concerns.  From her extensive involvement with federal and state legislative and regulatory health, pension and other reforms in the U.S. to her involvement as a lead advisor to the Government of Bolivia on its pension privatization legislation, Ms. Stamer’s experience includes significant experience working with clients domestically on key health care and other public policy matters.  The publisher of Solutions Law Press, Ms. Stamer also publishes, conducts training and speaks extensively on these and related concerns.  For additional information about Ms. Stamer and her experience or to access other publications by Ms. Stamer see here or contact Ms. Stamer directly.   For additional information about the experience and services of Ms. Stamer and other members of the Curran Tomko Tarksi LLP team, see here.

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©2010 Cynthia Marcotte Stamer. All rights reserved.