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The 'Big 3' Fixes for the Weakened Senate Health Reform Bill to Block Full Insurance Co. Take-Over of Health System
Date:12/15/2009

ive state standards. Minimum federal standards should set a floor, not a ceiling, on state health care protections. Read Consumer Watchdog's analyses of the pre-emption provisions and the group's letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at:

http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/patients/articles/?storyId=31197

Read the Los Angeles Times coverage of the pre-emption provisions:

http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/patients/articles/?storyId=31200

2. Bar Insurers From Placing Annual Limits on Medical Payments

A cornerstone of national health reform is to ensure that patients get the care their doctor prescribes when they are sick and need treatment the most. An essential element to reach that objective is to bar insurance companies from placing annual limits on how much health care a patient can receive.

Current caps mean that patients with serious illnesses, including many cancers, can be left without coverage in the midst of treatment. As a result, patients face bankruptcy even though they have insurance. In fact, a Harvard Medical School study released this year found that 62% of U.S. bankruptcies were caused by big medical bills, while 78% of those declaring bankruptcy had insurance.

A loophole in the Senate bill would allow health insurers to impose unspecified "reasonable" annual limits on the annual dollar value of benefits that patient can receive this year. This is a majo
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SOURCE Consumer Watchdog
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