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Senate Health Care Bill Would Allow Insurers to Limit Coverage for Seriously Ill Patients.

Posts: 98
Joined: Jan 2009

A loophole in the Senate health care bill would let insurers place annual dollar limits on medical care for people struggling with costly illnesses such as cancer, prompting a rebuke from patient advocates. The legislation that originally passed the Senate health committee last summer would have banned such limits, but a tweak to that provision weakened it in the bill now moving toward a Senate vote.

Officials of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network said they were taken by surprise...


Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6528
Joined: Feb 2009

Plus many other loop holes. I'm not so sure why people would even want this passed. I know I wouldn't ever be covered again - or maybe they would just give me some white little pill to kill me off in three months.

usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

ACS Cancer Action Network raised this issue with Congress and has received assurances this "loophole" will be closed in the Senate bill. I do trust that ACS CAN will make certain the bill does reflect necessary changes to provide no annual or lifetime coverage limits on health insurance, which is essential for cancer patients as most of us know. I also trust that CAN will review any bill that emerges from either the House or Senate, or out of Conference Committee, to confirm there is not any type of language that would negatively affect cancer patients.

ACS: Cancer Action Network - Pledge to Strengthen Prohibition on Coverage Limits

Interestingly enough, this potential "loophole" and painfully vague language is on page 16 of a 2,074 page bill. The Senate healthcare bill was presented to the Senate over a month ago and a problem with page 16 is just now surfacing. I shudder to think what is between pages 17 and 2,074. Thankfully we have ACS CAN looking out for cancer patients' best interests, however we need healthcare and health insurance to function properly for not just our cancer issues, but for all ours and our families medical needs.

If you're interested in reading the proposed Senate bill, you can find it at the link below:
Senate Draft H. R. 3590

Congressional Budget Office Analysis:
CBO Analysis HR 3590

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PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

Initially I think the impression that was given with this health reform is that they would prohibit limits on $$$ and also pre-existing conditions.

This is like trying to get peace in the Middle East. I do not see this going far or going in the right direction anymore. At first there seemed to be some hope. Too many special interests are involved and it ALWAYS comes down to greed.
What makes the world go 'round?
Too many dollars spent that make no sense.

usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

Once Washington invited the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies and everyone else who will make a buck on this "reform" it went from possibly good to same old, same old....

Maybe I'm a simple minded lass, but I think any kind of sweeping legislation, anything that takes 2,074 pages for the Senate and 1,990 pages for the House bills respectively should give us pause. Especially when we're being told to hurry up...I've heard this same spiel from people selling time shares in the middle of the desert.

"Haste makes waste." Benjamin Franklin

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Ted Kennedy's approach to getting healthcare issues passed,
had been to move the legislation through in any manner it can pass,
and fix the deficiencies later.

When legislation needs votes and those opposing it have enough
votes to kill it or put it aside, the only alternative left is to get
the votes for it by making concessions..... Otherwise another decade
will pass without the consideration of needed legislation.

"Ask for the moon; settle for getting off the ground."

The Democrats don't have enough seats in congress to pass
things without the Republican's votes.

The Republicans had six of eight years with -total- control.

(just sayin')

Posts: 965
Joined: Nov 2008

"Ted Kennedy's approach to getting healthcare issues passed,
had been to move the legislation through in any manner it can pass,
and fix the deficiencies later."

My momma had a different saying for that....she would say, "I give you an inch and you take a mile..."

I like to use that saying with my own kids now.

usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

Using this logic - fix the deficiencies later - means that we really should expect unintended and devastating consequences to come out of legislation.

We have a good example to learn from. In December of 2000 Congress in a very bipartisan manner overwhelmingly voted yes for the Commodity Futures Modernization Act (CFMA) of 2000, which was signed into law by then President Bill Clinton on December 21, 2000. The CFMA was essentially a piece of legislation that offered deregulation for certain types of commodity exchanges.

The unintended consequences of the CFMA legislation was the "Enron Loophole" that caused large spikes in energy costs and played a major role in the California Energy Crisis of 2000-2001. The deregulation allowed for speculation investing in energy commodities which ultimately created a "gaming" market environment. I'm sure my fellow Californians will remember the spike of energy costs, which seemed to hit during the heat of summer, and the rolling blackouts - mandatory conservation. While California residents paid huge bills for electricity, "investors" were getting rich.

CFMA is also the same legislation that allowed for the unregulated Credit Default Swaps which fostered the unrealistic environment known as the housing bubble. The bubble burst horribly, resulting in the mortgage crisis and banking industry crisis that lead us straight into the Great Recession we're mired in now. Who suffered?

As the citizenry of the US of A, why shouldn't we require Congress as a whole to write and enact sound legislation that doesn't cause harm to the American people? If legislation isn't right it should not be passed into law for any reason. As a nation we simply cannot afford it any longer...we're busted flat, not only in Baton Rouge, but everywhere.

Like I said, "Haste makes waste..." ...just sayin'

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