Health Care Bill Creates – Commissioned Corps and Ready Reserver Corps

Remember when Obama said this:

“We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” Barack Obama, July 2, 2008, Colorado Springs, CO.

Well, this is what the Health Care bill says;

See the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, page 1312: SEC. 5210. 


14 Section 203 of the Public Health Service Act (42

15 U.S.C. 204) is amended to read as follows:




19 ‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—There shall be in the Service

20 a commissioned Regular Corps and a Ready Reserve

21 Corps for service in time of national emergency.

22 ‘‘(2) REQUIREMENT.—All commissioned officers

23 shall be citizens of the United States and shall be ap24

pointed without regard to the civil-service laws and


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1 compensated without regard to the Classification Act

2 of 1923, as amended.

3 ‘‘(3) APPOINTMENT.—Commissioned officers of

4 the Ready Reserve Corps shall be appointed by the

5 President and commissioned officers of the Regular

6 Corps shall be appointed by the President with the

7 advice and consent of the Senate.

8 ‘‘(4) ACTIVE DUTY.—Commissioned officers of the

9 Ready Reserve Corps shall at all times be subject to

10 call to active duty by the Surgeon General, including

11 active duty for the purpose of training.

12 ‘‘(5) WARRANT OFFICERS.—Warrant officers

13 may be appointed to the Service for the purpose of

14 providing support to the health and delivery systems

15 maintained by the Service and any warrant officer

16 appointed to the Service shall be considered for pur17

poses of this Act and title 37, United States Code, to

18 be a commissioned officer within the Commissioned

19 Corps of the Service.


21 THE REGULAR CORPS.—Effective on the date of enactment

22 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, all indi23

viduals classified as officers in the Reserve Corps under this

24 section (as such section existed on the day before the date


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1 of enactment of such Act) and serving on active duty shall

2 be deemed to be commissioned officers of the Regular Corps.


4 ‘‘(1) PURPOSE.—The purpose of the Ready Re5

serve Corps is to fulfill the need to have additional

6 Commissioned Corps personnel available on short no7

tice (similar to the uniformed service’s reserve pro8

gram) to assist regular Commissioned Corps per9

sonnel to meet both routine public health and emer10

gency response missions.

11 ‘‘(2) USES.—The Ready Reserve Corps shall—

12 ‘‘(A) participate in routine training to meet

13 the general and specific needs of the Commis14

sioned Corps;

15 ‘‘(B) be available and ready for involuntary

16 calls to active duty during national emergencies

17 and public health crises, similar to the uni18

formed service reserve personnel;

19 ‘‘(C) be available for backfilling critical po20

sitions left vacant during deployment of active

21 duty Commissioned Corps members, as well as

22 for deployment to respond to public health emer23

gencies, both foreign and domestic; and

24 ‘‘(D) be available for service assignment in

25 isolated, hardship, and medically underserved


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1 communities (as defined in section 799B) to im2

prove access to health services.

3 ‘‘(d) FUNDING.—For the purpose of carrying out the

4 duties and responsibilities of the Commissioned Corps

5 under this section, there are authorized to be appropriated

6 $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2014 for

7 recruitment and training and $12,500,000 for each of fiscal

8 years 2010 through 2014 for the Ready Reserve Corps.’’.

Is this what Obama was refering to?  A well funded Civilian Corps?


  1. this section in the patient protection act refers to the USPHS, one of the 7 existing uniformed services in the US. The USPHS has existed since 1798 in one form or another. this section is procedural and just deals with making existing officers switch from reserve to regular status as well as trying to improve the ability of the public health service officers to deploy to disasters and other emergencies by allowing for ready reservists to fill their jobs (at places like the FDA, NIH, CDC, USDA). It is full of physicians (mostly family and pediatric docs), nurses, veterinarians, and scientists working in the public health sector. Nothing sinister.

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