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Lifetime Caps Bill Introduced

NEW YORK, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- On Friday, February 13, 2009, Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) and Jim Langevin (D-RI), along with Senators Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) introduced the Health Insurance Coverage Protection Act (H.R. 1085; S442). The legislation, introduced in both houses in 2008, will set a $10 million minimum lifetime cap on health insurance, with future increases based on inflation.

The National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) played a vital role in encouraging the legislation and assembling a coalition of more than 50 patient advocacy and health organizations currently working for its passage. "However, nothing could happen without the critical leadership of the members of Congress who recognized this problem and decided to do something about it," said Val Bias, NHF CEO. "We applaud these leaders for identifying this critically needed piece of healthcare reform and moving it forward." On Thursday, February 26, 2009, more than 350 people affected by bleeding and clotting disorders will gather on Capitol Hill for our annual Washington Days advocacy event. We will express our support for this important legislation and discuss other key healthcare issues with members of Congress and their staff.

"Having an inadequate lifetime cap defeats the purpose of health insurance and forces those with disabilities and chronic illnesses into an impossible situation," Dorgan said. "Low caps also end up costing the taxpayer because once people with illnesses hit their cap, they often turn to government programs for their care. This legislation will raise lifetime insurance caps and allow those with illnesses to focus on recovering--not worrying about how they are going to pay for their treatment."

"This bill addresses a critical lack of coverage for those with disabilities or chronic illnesses," said Eshoo. "It's a travesty to think that people are job-hopping in order to switch insurance plans or quitting their job all together to access Medicaid. Increasing the minimum lifetime cap will result in a net savings for federal and state governments because individuals with high medical costs can maintain private health insurance. As medical treatment costs continue to increase, the issue of lifetime insurance maximums will become even more important. This legislation will protect individuals who are struggling to pay for the expensive medical treatments that are a result of a disability or chronic illness."

About Hemophilia

Approximately 400,000 people around the world have hemophilia. Hemophilia is an inherited bleeding disorder characterized by prolonged or spontaneous bleeding, especially into the muscles, joints, or internal organs. The disease is caused by deficient or defective blood coagulation proteins, known as factor VIII or IX. The most common form of the disease is hemophilia A, or classic hemophilia, in which the clotting factor VIII is either deficient or defective. Hemophilia B is characterized by deficient or defective factor IX.

About the National Hemophilia Foundation

The National Hemophilia Foundation is dedicated to finding better treatments and cures for bleeding and clotting disorders and to preventing the complications of these disorders through education, advocacy and research.

SOURCE National Hemophilia Foundation
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