The hodge-podge of bills which
comprise H.R. 2095, the so-called "Health Care Quality and Access Act of
1999" fall far short of the standards that working families expect from
comprehensive patient protection legislation.
If the legislation proposed by Rep. Boehner passes, HMO industry
bureaucrats -- rather than the best medical science available -- will
dictate whether a treatment is medically necessary.
This legislation attempts to establish a third party review process
to address patients' complaints about their HMO but fails miserably.
Representative Boehner's bill -- which forces consumers to pay to go
through an appeals process -- would let the fox guard the henhouse by
allowing the HMO to choose who will review patients' complaints about
the health plan.
Not only does the legislation lack an adequate appeals process, it
also lacks several important patient protections. H.R. 2095 fails to
protect seriously ill patients who are undergoing treatment and wish to
continue to see the same health care provider if their provider leaves
the plan or their employer changes plans; does not protect the right of
physicians, nurses, and nursing home workers to speak up on behalf of a
patient without being retaliated against or even fired by their
employer; and does not allow access to clinical trials that can save
Working families need a strong, comprehensive patients' bill of
rights, and Representative Boehner's proposed legislation simply does
not do the job.
For Information: Naomi Walker 202/637-5093