Ch-ch-changes…. – David Bowie, Changes (1972)
A version of the Congenital Heart Futures Act was inserted into the Senate healthcare bill last night by primary sponsor Senator Richard Durbin!
The new version was “stripped down” somewhat, but the two major points remain intact: Creating a national database of Congenital Heart Defect patients and treatments; and more research led by the National Institutes of Health. Mended Little Hearts has a good summary on their website.
The problem – and it could be a major problem – is that the House version does not contain any version of the Congenital Heart Futures Act. If the bill passes the Senate, the House and the Senate bills will have to be “reconciled” – combined into one bill – before being forwarded to President Obama. With one legislative body containing the provision and the other one without it, there is a good chance that it could be dropped.
Will it survive Reconciliation? How will this affect plans to lobby for the Act in Washington on April 22? If it were to be dropped, is the original version still in committee or do we have to start all over? The only answer I have right now is “I don’t know.” – a lot hinges on the bill coming through the Senate and then the Reconciliation process. The answers will become more apparent in the future.