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Consumer Watchdog to Congress: Put Patients' Bill of Rights Back on the Table
Date:6/4/2009

WASHINGTON, June 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the nation's health insurance companies met in San Diego, California to discuss how to "make health care reform a reality," Consumer Watchdog called on Congressional leaders to include key patient protections and legal accountability measures for health insurers and HMOs currently missing from the debate.

Consumer Watchdog called for specific legislative fixes and separate public hearings to address 10 patient abuses not sufficiently addressed in the current House and Senate health care reform proposals. Abuses detailed below.

Download the letter here: http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org/resources/PatientsBillofRightsHouseSenate.pdf

In the letter Consumer Watchdog wrote:

"Ten years ago, many in Congress, including most of you, supported a comprehensive 'Patient Bill of Rights' that was ultimately killed by health insurance lobbying. The measures would have protected patients against the worst insurance industry abuses and included strong legal accountability for insurers. The proposals now offered by the House and Senate make the need for such rights more critical than ever, yet outlines of the pending proposals fail to mention the HMO Patient Bill of Rights measures at all.

"Both the House and the Senate recently debuted plans requiring all Americans to show proof that they own a health insurance plan or be treated as criminals -- tax cheats facing thousands of dollars in fines. Yet the proposals fail to make insurers accountable for their actions. Nor do the Congressional plans cap what insurers can charge in monthly premiums or how much Americans would have to pay out-of-pocket, and do little to cur
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SOURCE Consumer Watchdog
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