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House Takes Symbolic Vote to Repeal Health Care Reform

The Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF) has received an update from the Parkinson's Action Network (PAN) regarding the recent news that the US House of Representatives voted to repeal last year's health care reform law.  Below, PAN offers their analysis about this vote.

On January 19, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 245 to 189 to repeal the health care reform law that was enacted early last year.  

The vote by the House to repeal health care reform is considered to be largely symbolic.  There are not enough votes to pass repeal in the Senate – in fact, the Senate is not likely to even bring the repeal bill up for a vote.  Even if repeal were to pass the Senate, President Obama would veto the bill.  It would then take a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate to override the President’s veto.

In short, repeal of the health care reform law has virtually no chance of passage.  But since House Republicans campaigned on repeal of health care reform, they felt they owed it to their constituents to hold the vote.  

In the coming weeks and months there may be votes to try to alter certain provisions of the health care reform law.  PAN will keep you informed of any developments and work to maintain provisions of the health reform law that are important to the Parkinson’s community, such as:

- Preexisting conditions:  The law prohibits insurers from establishing eligibility rules based on health status, medical condition (mental or physical illness), claims experience, receipt of healthcare, medical history, genetic information, evidence of insurability, disability, etc.

- Medicare Part D donut hole:  Starting in 2011 the law gradually closes the Medicare Part D donut hole for prescription drug coverage by 2020.

- Cures Acceleration Network:  The law created the new Cures Acceleration Network at the National Institutes of Health to support translational research in the hopes of more quickly moving research from the lab into new drugs and therapies available to patients.  PAN advocates were instrumental in passage of this new program.

In addition to these three provisions, there are many issues regarding access and health insurance coverage that are important to our community.  We will be weighing in on them as needed.  As always, please feel free to contact PAN with any questions.

PAN is the voice of the Parkinson's community in Washington, DC.  In FY2010, PDF is supporting PAN with a grant of $200,000.


Source Date: Jan 20 2011