Affordable Care Act Second Anniversary Today — The Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was passed two years ago today, March 23rd, 2010. Coincidentally, the Supreme Court is scheduled to take up the constitutionality of the oftentimes controversial law next week. The main issue of the Supreme Court case, filed on behalf of 26 individual state attorney’s general, is whether Congress has the authority under the Commerce Clause to force Americans to purchase health insurance, otherwise known as the “individual mandate” portion of the law. Without the mandate the PPACA would have to find another way to get 15-20 million Americans heath coverage outside of the planned Medicaid enrollment expansion to 133% of the Federal Poverty Level. Though the Supreme Court will take up the case next week and congressional Republicans have made several attempts to repeal the law legislatively since its inception, the Obama Administration has continued unabated with implementation of many elements of the law. Follow the link for a great timeline of all that has been done to date on the Affordable Care Act’s provisions.
O&P Licensure Clears Another Hurdle in Iowa House — SF364, The Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics Practice Act, cleared another key hurdle to remain an active bill for the remainder of the legislative session this week. SF364 recently passed the House State Government Committee 21-1, but was referred back to House Ways and Means last week. If Ways and Means had not acted to move SF364 out of committee this week, we likely would have fallen subject to another funnel deadline, arbitrary dates that ensure a piece of legislation has had sufficient work completed to ensure survival throughout session.
Rod Cheney of American Prosthetics, OPGA Government Relations and the IPOPA lobby team met with House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer Wednesday afternoon to explain the merits of the bill and our concern that SF364 could fall subject to the funnel deadline if not passed this week. After conversations with House Ways and Means Committee Chair Tom Sands, State Government Chair Peter Cownie (who also sits on Ways/Means) and committee Democrats, SF364 was assigned to subcommittee and voted on “as a whole” by the entire Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday afternoon, clearing the panel by a vote of 24-1. SF364 is now considered “unfinished business”, allowing it to remain eligible for House floor debate throughout the remainder of the session. We are hoping to have floor debate of the bill in the next few weeks. If passed by the full House, the bill will need to be passed again by the full Senate before being sent to the Governor for his signature or veto.
Contact OPGA for help in contacting your local state legislators to ask for their support of SF 364. Or click here to enter your zip code search for to see who represents you in the Iowa House and Senate.