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Don't suffer in silence

By - Last modified: May 16, 2013 at 9:02 AM

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Heather Stauffer
Heather Stauffer

Don't suffer in silence; nobody else is.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is, at its core, a restructuring that affects many different sectors. All are feeling the pain of change somewhere along the way, and even those that are likely to be net winners in the new health care world are squawking when it hits them.

Some complaints are stronger than others, but as you watch them pop up in turn, please remember that all the changes are interrelated and if everyone's grievances were addressed, we'd be back where we started.

Back where we started is, of course, no PPACA, for better or worse — but don't waste your time hyperventilating about that, because U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts told members of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Monday that it's not going to happen during President Obama's second term.

Pitts should know: Besides being a Republican and a critic of the law, he's also chairman of the House subcommittee on health, which has its hands on the PPACA implementation purse strings.

I know businesses exist that are fans of the law — say, maybe those that saw their insurance premiums spike in the past after a single employee suffered an debilitating illness, which isn't supposed to happen anymore — but none of them made their presence known at the meeting Monday, where the questions and comments centered around issues that various employers are having with the law and what they can do about it.

Speak up, Pitts said. Although he thinks full repeal is out of reach for the next three years, he said legislators are still plugging away at different pieces of the bill, of which it was said legislators had to pass to know what was in it. There have been two major victories in the repeal of the CLASS Act and 1099 provisions, he said, and the latter can be ascribed directly to the business community letting its feelings be known about having to file a 1099 for every transaction over $599.

Pitts said he would like to hear how PPACA is affecting people — everything from questions to implementation problems to what kind of quotes they're receiving for insurance next year. Those who want to could even go to D.C. to testify, potentially.

So, he asked. Answer him, and while you're at it, let your other legislators know, too. Maybe you love the PPACA but there's one part of it that you think should be tweaked, or maybe you hate it and want to provide specific examples of why. Let your voice be heard.

Why? Because you know what they say about squeaky wheels — and because this is a tricky change that our nation is navigating. The more accurate feedback leaders have, the better they might be able to proceed.

Heather Stauffer covers Lancaster County, nonprofits and health care. Have a tip or question for her? Email her at heathers@centralpennbusiness.com. You can also follow her on Twitter, @StaufferCPBJ.

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer covers Lancaster County, nonprofits, education and health care. Have a tip or question for her? Email her at heathers@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter, @StaufferCPBJ.

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