Navigation Links
President Obama, Sens. Kennedy & Baucus: Don't Buy Insurer 'Compromise' for Bush-era Plan to Gut State Consumer Protection Laws
Date:5/11/2009

WASHINGTON, May 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- President Obama and U.S. Senate health care reform leaders must not override state consumer protection laws as suggested by health insurers last week, a move long-supported by insurers and the Bush Administration, said Consumer Watchdog in a letter to the president and senators. The hard-fought state laws enacted in nearly every state over the last 10 years were made necessary because Congress failed to enact Patients' Bill of Rights legislation.

Download Consumer Watchdog's letter here: http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org/resources/ltrObamaKennedyBaucus.pdf

In the letter, Consumer Watchdog wrote:

"Federal regulation would be a boon to the industry, and has long been on the insurer's wish list because over the last decade almost every state has developed comprehensive patient protection laws that the insurers loathe.

"Insurers would like to take advantage of the moment of reform to eviscerate HMO Patients' Bill of Rights laws enacted in nearly every state and replace them with window-dressing federal rules that clear the way for the worst of the industry's practices."

The insurers' proposal was floated last Tuesday during the U.S. Senate Finance Committee by Karen Ignagni, CEO of the HMO and health insurer lobbying organization, America's Health Insurance Plans.

Consumer Watchdog called the insurers' proposal to kill the "public option" to private insurance coverage -- the reform that the industry hates most because of its value to consumers -- in exchange for new federal regulation of the industry a "false compromise."

In the letter, Consumer Watchdog wrote:

"Insurers are not conceding a thing. They are trying to turn the squelching of a beneficial public option into a double victory. They need all of you to play along with the charade in order to succeed in killing state patient protections as well as any government competitor. If you allow the insurance industry to prevail in this deception, the worst public fears about insurers' lobbying power in Washington will be proven correct."

A similar window-dressing federal regulation scheme was last brought forward in Senator Mike Enzi's (R-WY) bill, S. 1955, in 2006 which would have gutted HMO Patients' Bill of Rights laws and state common law access to courts by enacting President Bush's promised "Association Health Plans" expansion.

In the letter, Consumer Watchdog wrote:

"The Enzi bill was described in terms similar to those used by Ignagni ... to describe the federal 'standards' the insurers are willing to accept if the public option is taken off the table. Such 'harmonization' at the federal level of 'inconsistent' state laws will result in lowest common denominator regulations enforced from an impossible distance. Done the industry's desired way, an individual's state common law right to sue an insurer for even the most egregious misbehavior would also be erased."

Ignagni has also promised the industry's agreement to cover all Americans regardless of health, and not to charge more based on characteristics like health status or gender. Even these apparent concessions are far from hardships for the insurance industry, said Consumer Watchdog, in the context of their demand that all Americans be required to purchase their product.

** Read Consumer Watchdog's analysis of health insurer and drug company contributions to members of Congress. Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, received more campaign contributions from the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries than any other current Democratic member of the House or Senate; the third highest contributions of any member of Congress. http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/patients/articles/?storyId=25468

** Read about a recent national poll that found that 65% of voters support giving every American of any age the option of joining Medicare; 60% are willing to pay more in payroll deductions for this option. http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/patients/articles/?storyId=24826

** Read about a national poll that found, by contrast, that only 16% of U.S. voters support, and 53% oppose, the insurance industries' plan of requiring every American to provide proof of private health insurance or face tax penalties or other fines. http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/patients/articles/?storyId=24110

Consumer Watchdog is a non-profit and non-partisan consumer advocacy organization with offices in Washington, D.C. and Santa Monica, California. For more information, visit us on the web at: http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org.


'/>"/>
SOURCE Consumer Watchdog
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. S.C. BlueCross Creates Corporate Planning Unit, Promotes Davis to Vice President
2. MassMutual Promotes Debra Palermino to Senior Vice President of Human Resources
3. Sodexho, Inc. Announces Patrick E. Connolly as Market President & COO
4. Pioneer Surgical Technology Hires Vice President of New Business Development
5. PRA International Adds Dr. Susan Stansfield as Executive Vice President
6. AOA President Calls on Congress to Reauthorize SCHIP and Take Action to Ensure Health Care Coverage for All Americans
7. Presidential Candidates Address Health, Financial Security at AARPs Life@50+
8. STERIS Corporation Board of Directors Names Walter M. Rosebrough Jr. President and Chief Executive Officer
9. Resonant Medical Appoints New Vice President of Global Sales
10. Karen Vigil Named Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, Blue Shield of Californias Individual, Small Group, and Government Business Unit
11. John B. Buse, MD, PhD of Chapel Hill, NC, Elected American Diabetes Association President, Medicine & Science
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, ... and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained ... Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... surgery procedures that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state ... procedures, but also many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to support ... as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ‘Business for a Fair Minimum Wage’ ... 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at the same rate as the median ... floor does not erode again, and make future increases more predictable. , The company is ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Puradigm® ... Group (TGIG), has initiated cultivation and processing operations at its production facility, and ... Nevada. , Puradigm is the manufacturer of a complete system of proactive air ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Any dentist who has ... of the current process. Many of them do not even ... technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And those who ... it at such a high cost that the majority of ... Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  In a startling report released today, ... residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate prescription opioid ... ranking of how states are tackling the worst drug crisis in ... states – Kentucky , New Mexico ... . Of the 28 failing states, three – ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... MEMS Devices Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" ... The report contains up to date financial data ... analysis. Assessment of major trends with potential impact on the ... analysis of market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, regional ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: