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H.R. 2095
June 18, 1999


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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 people's lives.

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

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