November 3, 1999
Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) was today named a conferee on managed care reform.
Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 2723, the Bipartisan Consensus Managed Care Reform Act of 1999, by an overwhelming bipartisan margin of 275-151. This important legislation would enact federal consumer protection standards for managed care plans. Most importantly, the bill would hold health plans accountable for their medical decision making by extending liability to them.
"The overwhelming bipartisan support for strong managed care reform was shown clearly by the House vote last month on HR 2723, The Bipartisan Consensus Managed Care Reform Act. As a conferee on managed care reform, my agenda will be to work to see that the final product closely mirrors HR 2723 and that the bill is fully paid for," said Rep. Stark.
"Earlier this year, the Senate passed a very weak managed care reform bill that frankly doesn't even deserve that title. The Senate-passed bill did not receive a single Democratic vote, while the House-passed legislation was strongly bipartisan with 68 Republicans joining with us to pass it," said Representative Stark. The Senate bill fails to cover all private health plans, would not make health plans liable for their medical decisions, includes weaker external appeal protections, and has numerous additional deficiencies in comparison to the bipartisan House-passed bill.
Rep. Stark continued, "I am pleased that we have finally agreed to go to conference with the Senate since we passed the bill nearly a month ago. I find it likely that the reason for the delay was so the Republican leadership could more easily postpone convening the official conference until next year. Even if that is the case, today's action does signify an important next step toward protecting all of America's consumers in managed care plans. I look forward to getting to work on the conference."
CONTACT: Debbie Curtis (202) 225-5065