Saturday, May 06, 2006

Another take on S1955

Last night’s PBS show NOW was about a little understood group: the underinsured. There are people in states without those notorious and burdensome mandates for coverage, such as cancer screenings, diabetic supplies, emergency treatment, dental anesthesia, maternity benefits, prosthesis, metabolic disorders – well, you get the picture. If you want to see the whole list, Families USA has a state by state list of protections slated to be lost if the Enzi Bill (HR 1955) passes.
The Enzi Bill wants to allow small businesses to be able to form Association Health Plans ostensibly to be able to use the power of the marketplace to purchase health care like the big boys do . (I say ostensibly because it won’t really work out the same: they won’t be self-funded – just a group.)

Enzi takes the idea one step farther so that groups can form across state lines. This is classic Republican strategy: get a great title, give a cogent rationale, and leave out the nasty details. All the protections mentioned above came about due to individual state legislative action. Insurance is regulated by the states; if AHPs are allowed to form across state lines, no insurance board or commissioner will have jurisdiction, and plans can then cover, or not cover, whatever they like.

This is why it is so pernicious, and why you should call your Senator to vote against this bill. I tried on the “day of action” and couldn’t get through. Of course, I’m in New York, so I’m pretty sure Schumer and Clinton are opposed; but how about the rest of you?

BTW, American Cancer Society opposes its passage, too.

Crossposted at


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't usually post on web sites but the S1955 Bill pending strikes very close to home so I am looking for as much help how ever I can get it. I need your help to talk to your Senators to not pass this bill. This is kind of a 4th and 1 situation on the goal line and this bill needs to be stopped.
I am a 33 year old male with a medical disorder, PKU. The passing of this bill will crush everything I need, and hundreds of thousands of others need, to lead a "normal life".
At birth I was diangosed with PKU, some were not so lucky and are in wheel chairs. PKU is a metabolic disorder where the body lacks an amino acid to break down protien. Subsequently to survive you must live your live on a strict, regimented diet with medically neccessary food (no meat, fish or poultry of any kind,no bread, no pizza, no eggs, no cheese, no pasta, no pastries, no flour etc.)
Though I escaped a life in a wheel chair, I have an expensive medical diet. Currently NYS and many other states have a mandated $2500 food stypin and my protien supplement I'm required to take daily is covered by perscription. To give you an idea my protien supplement is $800 a month and a normal box of pasta is $8 a box.
This bill can not pass; my sister and I lobbied in Albany many years ago for this coverage, we're the healthiest we've been in years, this bill will reverse everything.
There are links you can click on to sign a petition, write a letter to your Senator or call them.
Thank you for any help you can contribute.

8:48 AM  

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