Health Care Reform
NATA Statement on Health Reform Law
Dallas, Texas (March 30, 2010)- President Barack Obama signed into law last week the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590). The Senate passed this health reform legislation on Dec. 24, 2009, and the House of Representatives passed it on March 21 by a vote of 219-212. The same day, the House passed the Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872), which will modify certain provisions in the health reform law, by a vote of 220-211. The Senate passed H.R. 4872 on March 25 with a vote of 56-42 after making two minor changes. The House then voted to approve the Senate’s reconciliation bill with a vote of 220 – 207. The President signed the package into law today. The 2,409-page law includes a significant number of provisions relating to improving access to and delivering health care services through the health care workforce, including physicians, nurses and health care professionals. A number of these workforce development provisions relate to allied health professionals, which includes athletic trainers. Implementation of the workforce provisions and pilot projects, which are intended to encourage innovation in health care delivery, will occur over the next few years. NATA will analyze the law and closely monitor agency implementation of health reform. NATA is continuing to search for opportunities that will ensure athletic trainers are included in these pilot and workforce programs, as they pertain to the scope of practice of athletic trainers. The new health reform law extends the therapy cap exceptions process for the remainder of 2010. While NATA applauds innovation in the delivery of health care services, many more issues remain unsolved by this law. In the coming years, Congress will continue to reassess changes in Medicare, Medicaid and the physician fee schedule and Sustainable Growth Rate formula (SGR). The new health reform law, however, does not address the primary legislative goal of NATA. The Athletic Trainers’ Equal Access to Medicare Act (ATEAM, H.R. 1137) seeks to make athletic trainers covered providers under Medicare, which will allow ATs to become fully recognized healthcare providers by CMS. NATA remains dedicated to ensuring passage of ATEAM and continues to seek co-sponsors after its successful Capitol Hill Day in February.