The United States Senate plans to vote on their version of the healthcare bill at 7:00 AM Christmas Eve. Included in the Manger’s Amendment for the bill is a version of the Congenital Heart Futures Act, introduced back in March after a lot of hard work by CHDers from across the country.
But a lot still has to be done. Even though both houses of Congress have healthcare bills, the two bills do not agree (Assuming the Senate bill passes tomorrow; it should). The bills will have to be “reconciled” – a committee of both Senators and Representatives will meet and decide which parts of both bills are acceptable and then combine the two. Since there is no Congenital Heart Futures Act in the House version, it could be cut out. When all is said and done, we may have to go all the way back to the beginning.
But no matter what happens with the bill, we still have the IMPACT Registry. IMPACT stands for Improving Pediatric and Adult Congenital Treatment and Funky Heart! readers have read about it here before. An initiative of the American College of Cardiology Foundation, IMPACT is not reliant on Congressional approval and is still scheduled to begin in 2010.