Washington, D.C. — As part of a broad grassroots push to enact
meaningful HMO reform, the AFL-CIO today launched a new TV and radio ad
campaign urging House members in 16 districts to support H.R. 2723, the
bi-partisan Patients' Bill of Rights legislation sponsored by
Representatives Charles Norwood (R-GA) and John Dingell (D-MI).
The legislation, which has been fiercely opposed by health insurance
companies, is supported by more than 300 doctors, nurses, and consumer
groups — including the American Medical Association, the American Nurses
Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National
Partnership for Women and Families, and the Consumers Union.
The ads urge working families to call their member of Congress and
ask "Which side are you on?"
"It's time— past time— for Congress to take action to make sure that
doctors and not insurance company bureaucrats make our medical
decisions," said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney.
"The basic consumer protections contained in the Norwood-Dingell
proposal represent common sense answers to the real problems experienced
by working families across the nation," he continued
H.R. 2723 would extend patient protections to the 161 million
Americans in private health plans, rather than excluding — as the Senate
did earlier this year — over 100 million people who are in "self-funded"
health care plans. The bill also provides for a timely, independent
external review and allows patients to hold health plans accountable
when their decisions injure or even kill patients. It would protect
health care workers from retaliation from their employers when they act
as advocates on behalf of patients, and ensure that individuals have
access to emergency room care, prescription drugs, and can participate
in clinical trials.
For Information: Naomi Walker