Senate Should Put Patients Before Profits
Statement by Judith L. Lichtman, President
Senators hiding behind the stalled managed care conference committee will be exposed today when they vote on the Norwood-Dingell patients’ bill of rights. American voters will finally learn who stands for patients and who rolls over for HMO profits.
The Norwood-Dingell bill passed the House last October with an overwhelmingly strong bi-partisan vote and has been languishing in conference committee ever since. Committee members failed to hammer out a final bill, forcing champions of strong patient protections to take their fight directly to the Senate floor.
The Norwood-Dingell bill will provide the strong, enforceable patient protections Americans want and need. It will hold health plans accountable when they harm a patient, protect patients from paying out-of-pocket for emergency room services, provide an independent appeals process, and guarantee that treatment decisions are based on medical, not financial, concerns. And, the Norwood-Dingell bill covers all insured Americans without excluding millions left out of other proposals like firefighters, teachers and church employees.
Americans are sick of dealing with a managed care system with no accountability. Senators should end their suffering and stand up for patients by voting to pass the Norwood-Dingell bill.
National Partnership for Women & Families.