Monday, March 06, 2006

save what little we have left....

i received this email today, and need to spread the word, as mike dewine is one the senators involved and the vote is on wednesday the eighth
NASW Government Relations Action Alert

Contact Your Senator Now to Oppose
Destructive HIMMA Bill (S.1955)

March 3, 2006

THE ISSUE AT HAND
President Bush and some small employers are putting strong pressure on the Senate to pass health insurance regulatory changes to benefit selective employee groups. This new initiative is known as the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act (HIMMA, S. 1955). This bill is part of a larger health agenda to enact Association Health Plans (AHPs) that have already passed the House as H.R. 525. NASW is concerned that the Senate bill could pass under election-year pressure, enabling negotiations with the House over its AHP bill and producing a very destructive regulatory framework for all commercial health insurance.

ACTION NEEDED
The HIMMA bill S. 1955 will be voted on by the Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) Committee this Wednesday, March 8, 2006. One of your Senators, listed below, sits on the HELP Committee and will vote on this bill at that time. NASW needs you to contact your Senator now and tell him or her that this bill is too destructive of essential insurance protections for vulnerable beneficiaries and it must be entirely rejected.

BACKGROUND
S.1955 is a highly complex bill that makes sweeping changes in the health insurance regulatory environment by federalizing many key aspects of insurance regulation that are currently state responsibilities. One of the goals of the bill is to "harmonize" the regulatory environment, making it easier to sell insurance products across multiple state lines. These products would be cheaper because they would not conform to state mandatory benefit requirements, provider choice laws or consumer protections. They would in most cases be "bare bones" insurance products marketed across state lines. NASW is highly supportive of increasing access to health care coverage for working people, but we oppose S. 1955 because it would eviscerate behavioral health and most other mandatory health benefits, preempt over 30 social work "freedom of choice" laws and eliminate basic consumer protections, all the while producing a different premium structure that will make it much more expensive for higher risk groups and individuals to afford any insurance.

Sample Phone Message
Members of the Senate HELP Committee must be contacted now to hear opposition to S. 1955. Phone calls are necessary because of the short notice given for Committee consideration of this new and poorly understood legislation. A sample phone message follows:

"My name is _________ from (city, state). As a constituent, professional social worker, and member of the National Association of Social Workers, I am calling to ask Senator (last name) to oppose the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act (HIMMA, S. 1955). This Act would exempt many new health plans from critical state laws and regulations, thereby gutting existing consumer protections and coverage requirements and increasing insurance premiums for those left behind. I urge the Senator's strong opposition to this bill during HELP Committee consideration this week. Thank you.

Call your Senator through the Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121, and just ask for the office by name.

TIMING
It is critical for opposition to be heard immediately, since S.1955 will undergo committee consideration on Wednesday, March 8th.

HELP COMMITTEE ROSTER
Republicans:
Enzi, Michael (WY), Chairman; Gregg, Judd (NH); Frist, Bill (TN); Alexander, Lamar (TN); Burr, Richard (NC); Isakson, Johnny (GA); DeWine, Mike (OH); Ensign, John (NV); Hatch, Orrin (UT); Sessions, Jeff (AL); Roberts, Pat (KS)

Democrats:
Kennedy, Edward (MA), Ranking Member; Dodd, Christopher (CT); Harkin, Tom (IA); Mikulski, Barbara (MD); Jeffords, James (VT); Bingaman, Jeff (NM); Murray, Patty (WA); Reed, John (RI); Clinton, Hillary (NY)


THANKS FOR YOUR ADVOCACY!

You have received this e-mail as a member of NASW. If you would like to be omitted from future e-mails regarding federal legislation, please send and e-mail to advocacy

1 comment:

Diabetes Advocate said...

S. 1955 will jeopardize lifesaving coverage protections for millions with diabetes by allowing health insurers to circumvent existing laws in 46 states that guarantee coverage for diabetes medications, supplies and training.

We need your help!

The Diabetes Community is enormous, passionate and wields a great deal of influence. We need your help in defeating S. 1955 and hope you will contact your Senator to stop this destructive bill.

We have made it very easy for you to join the fight! Just click the button below and it will take you to a form on the American Diabetes Association site, that makes if very easy for you to contact your Senator and stop this harmful legislation.

http://diabetesadvocacy.blogspot.com/2006/03/diabetes-community-unite-against-s1955.html

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