NOW is the time.......

  1. News/Action Alerts

    House Action on Patients' Rights THIS WEEK! -

    The McCain-Kennedy-Edwards patients' bill of rights, including nation-wide patient advocacy/WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTIONS for nurses and healthcare workers, passed the U.S. Senate by a vote of 59-36 on Friday, June 29.

    The House of Representatives is considering patients' rights legislation THIS WEEK.
    NOW is the time to contact your U. S. Representative to urge support for the bipartisan Ganske-Dingell companion bill, H.R. 2563, and opposition to the weakening Norwood amendment.

    The deal proposed by President Bush and Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-GA) would jeopardize effective enforcement of these new protections. Call today to urge your Representative to OPPOSE THE NORWOOD AMENDMENT.

    Please call with this message:
    As a (registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, member of the healthcare profession, etc)I urge you to support enactment of strong, comprehensive, and enforceable patient protection protections embodied by the bipartisan Ganske-Dingell legislation, H.R 2563. Please support this bill and vote against the weakening Norwood amendment.

    Your Congressman may be reached through Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121. >>
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    About -jt

    Joined: Oct '00; Posts: 2,662; Likes: 46


  3. by   -jt
    From: News and Views | Beyond the City |
    Friday, August 03, 2001

    House Gives Bush Win On Patients' Rights -
    NY Daily News

    WASHINGTON, DC - The Republican-controlled House handed President Bush a slim victory last night, passing patients' rights legislation that gives millions sweeping new health-care protections but limits the right to sue HMOs..........

    The 226-to-203 vote cleared the way for talks between the House and Senate which passed a more patient-friendly measure in April to reconcile their two versions. Backers of the Senate version vowed to fight to preserve its language..........

    Final passage came after the House rewrote the bill's legal liability provisions to ratify a compromise hammered out by Bush and Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-Ga.)..........

    The compromise was voted on earlier last night as an amendment to the full measure and passed by a thin 218-213 tally, ensuring passage of the full bill.............

    "Like it or not, we have to work with this President, who has to sign this bill," said Norwood, adding that critics "are deluding themselves if they think they can force a bill down this President's throat."........

    But the deal left most Democrats and some Republicans fuming..........

    Democratic Leader Rep. Dick Gephart blasted it as an "HMO and health-insurance companies' bill of rights" and angrily urged colleagues: "In the name of God ... vote against this bill."...........

    "Just who is the President trying to protect with these secretive, midnight deals? Could it be the HMOs? It certainly isn't the American people," said Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.)..........

    Just three Democrats supported the final measure, and every Republican voted for it, despite earlier votes by six of them against the Bush-Norwood compromise..........

    Rep. Marge Roukema was especially incensed at fellow New Jersey Republicans who voted for the compromise, which would supersede the state's stronger patient protections..........

    "That astounds me," she said. "I can't believe it. They're going to cripple New Jersey law? I can't believe it."............

    In the end, though, Roukema joined the GOP majority in voting for the bill..........

    Senate opponents promised a battle..........

    "We are not going to give up or give in," said Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.).

    The Senate bill championed by Kennedy and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) would allow patients to sue insurers in state courts over refusal to cover treatments. It would cap awards at $5million..........

    Bush originally wanted the lawsuits restricted to federal courts, where judgments are traditionally more stingy..........

    In the compromise, he agreed to a measure that allows lawsuits to proceed in state courts with some restrictions and with a $1.5million cap on punitive damages............

    Highlights and differences in the House and Senate patients' rights bills:


    Include assurances of access to emergency and specialty care, direct access to pediatricians and obstetrician-gynecologists, and continuity of care for those with ongoing health needs.

    Employer Liability

    Allow employers to shield themselves from liability by designating a "decision maker," such as an insurer, to work on their behalf.

    Appeals Process

    Patients must exhaust internal and external appeals before going to court unless death or irreparable injury has occurred.

    Sets up medical review process to handle disputes over treatment before patients can go to court. Patient can still sue but must provide "clear and convincing" evidence that an HMO or insurer failed to provide "ordinary care."

    Right to Sue and Limits on Damages

    Patients can sue in state court, with limits set by states and awards capped at $5 million.

    Patients can sue in state court over medical disputes, but under federal rules with $1.5 million caps on pain and suffering and punitive damages.
  4. by   Jenny P
    Please contact your US Representatives today and tell them you oppose the Norwood amendment to the Patient Protection Act. Our patients deserve protection if they are injured or denied coverage by their own health insurance plans.

    ANA news release to rnrealnews members: Nurse action needed!
    "The American Nurses Association (ANA) today urged members of the House of Representatives to vote against the Norwood amendment to H.R. 2563, the bipartisan Patient Protection Act.

    The legal remedies contained in the Norwood proposal, which was announced last night by Rep. Charles Norwood (R-GA) and President Bush, would stack the deck against patients who are injured by plan decisions and would make the strong patient protections provided in the bill difficult, at best, to enforce.

    ANA believes that accountability for quality, cost-effective health care must be shared among health plans, health systems, providers and consumers. The provisions of the bipartisan Patient Protection Act, as introduced, assure a truly independent appeals system and legal accountability for health plans. These provisions are reasonable and necessary for real managed care reform that is comprehensive and enforceable for all participants in the health care system."