ObamaCare kills discount drug deals to childrens hospitals

Ed Morrissey

Nancy Pelosi told us that we needed to pass the ObamaCare bill to find out what was in it, but apparently we needed to pass it to find out what wasn’t in it as well.  Thanks to one of the 2800 pages that apparently no one in Congress read before voting on the bill, the new law has drug manufacturers canceling discounts to childrens’ hospitals that helped provide medicine to children suffering from rare diseases.  The change will cost these hospitals hundreds of millions of dollars, and will almost certainly curtail access to critical care for children:

In an unintended consequence of the new health care law, drug companies have begun notifying children’s hospitals around the country that they no longer qualify for large discounts on drugs used to treat rare medical conditions.

As a result, prices are going up for these specialized “orphan drugs,” some of which are also used to treat more common conditions.

Over the last 18 years, Congress has required drug manufacturers to provide discounts to a variety of health care providers, including community health centers, AIDS clinics and hospitals that care for large numbers of low-income people.

Several years ago, Congress broadened the program to include children’s hospitals. But this year Congress, in revising the drug discount program as part of the new health care law, blocked these hospitals from continuing to receive price cuts on orphan drugs intended for treatment of diseases affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the United States.

The discount program didn’t disappear altogether.  The new law mandates that rural hospitals gain access to the discount program, for instance, and the discounts still appear to be in effect for the clinics and community centers.  It appears that Congress bought that expansion at the expense of sick children.

Actually, it’s unclear whether anyone in Congress actually knew of the shift at all…

Read the rest at HotAir.com

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