The Patients’ Bill of Rights (Yes We Did)

If Republicans want to campaign based upon promises to repeal “ObamaCare,” I wonder which parts of the recently unveiled Patients’ Bill of Rights they would like to repeal:

• No Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions for Children Under Age 19. Clarifies that health plans have to accept sick children before 2014 and cover all of a child’s illnesses if that child already had coverage. These protections will apply to all types of insurance except for individual policies that are “grandfathered,” and will be extended to Americans of all ages starting in 2014.

• No Arbitrary Rescissions of Insurance Coverage. Prohibits insurers and plans from rescinding coverage except in cases involving fraud or an intentional misrepresentation of material facts, not for unintentional mistakes. Insurers and plans seeking to rescind coverage must provide at least 30 days advance notice to give people time to appeal. There are no exceptions to this policy.

• No Lifetime Limits on Coverage. Prohibits the use of lifetime limits in all health plans and insurance policies issued or renewed on or after September 23. More than 100 million Americans currently have health coverage that imposes such lifetime limits.

• Restricted Annual Dollar Limits on Coverage. Phases out annual limits on how much employer plans and new individual health plans pay for health care and bans limits on essential health benefits by 2014. For plan years starting on or after Sept. 23, insurers will be allowed to set annual limits no lower than $750,000; on Sept. 23, 2011, the limit rises to $1.25 million; and on Sept. 23, 2012, it increases to $2 million. Employers and insurers can ask for a delay if they can demonstrate that their current annual limits are necessary to prevent a significant loss of coverage or increase in premiums.

• Doctor Choice. The new rules make clear that health plan members are free to designate any available participating primary care provider as their provider. The rules allow parents to choose any available participating pediatrician to be their children’s primary care provider. They also prohibit insurers and employer plans from requiring a referral for obstetrical or gynecological (OB-GYN) care. These policies apply to all individual market and group health insurance plans except those that are grandfathered.

• Removing Insurance Company Barriers to Emergency Department Services. Prohibits health plans and insurers from charging higher cost-sharing (co-payments or co-insurance) for emergency services that are obtained out of a plan’s network. The rules also set requirements on how health plans should reimburse out-of-network providers. This policy applies to all individual market and group health plans except those that are grandfathered.

More information on the Patients’ Bill of Rights is contained in this Fact Sheet. It looks like Obama’s new slogan will be Yes We Did and the Republicans will have to hope people continue to believe their distortions of health care reform and other Democratic policies.

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6 Comments

  1. 1
    patientsrights says:

    #PatientsRights: » The Patients' Bill of Rights (Yes We Did) Liberal Values http://ow.ly/183SOJ

  2. 2
    A Conservative Teacher says:

    I think they want to repeal all of those, as they will raise the cost of healthcare, force companies to shift from providing healthcare to having the goverment (and taxpayers) provide it, and will add massive amounts to the debt. Or at least that is what is what their crazy real-life economics theories say.

    The GOP has some sort of crazy idea that free people making free decisions in a free economy will be better for our nation and our healthcare than the politically-motivated government run by bureaucrats unresponsible to citizens and uncaring of their god-given rights to life, liberty, and property. They are just crazy.

  3. 3
    dissident says:

    Probably all of it.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    The insurance industry shows the limitations of the market. Regulation is necessary in the case of health insurance. Without regulation we would up in the situation of having insurance companies develop a business model based upon finding way to deny care and deny people the ability who need coverage the ability to purchase it.

    One of the benefits of health care reform is that it places more control in the hands of physicians and patients, instead of bureaucrats, as the AMA noted in their endorsement of the plan.

    If conservatives are concerned about costs and the deficit they shouldn’t have opposed all the measures which would have cut costs. This isn’t about the deficit but about the Republicans helping the insurance industry preserve their profits.

  5. 5
    Leo Sigh says:

    I’m originally British although lived in the US for years and I can’t figure out why ANY American wouldn’t want a Patient’s Bill of Rights AND a public healthcare system. We’ve always had one in the UK since before I was born, and it’s 10 times better than any medical care I got in the US, particularly for the exorbitant price.

  6. 6
    Leslie Parsley says:

    Pardon me if I sound like a cynic. I am. In days gone by there were Republicans who genuinely cared for the welfare of the people. They must have died off because all I see now are the ones who only care about lining their pockets with gold from the insurance and oil companies – and that’s 100% of them. 

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