Congressional Republicans have made no secret of their wish to take away the protections for millions of patients by repealing their guaranteed rights. Republicans are continuing to push their repeal message this week, when many of the consumer protections in health reform – known as “the Patient’s Bill of Rights” – begin to take effect. These protections go into effect for health plan years beginning tomorrow. The New York Times:
“They’ll get not one dime from us,” the House Republican leader, John A. Boehner of Ohio, told The Cincinnati Enquirer recently. “Not a dime. There is no fixing this.”
The Patient’s Bill of Rights in the Affordable Care Act puts patients and doctors – not insurance company bureaucrats – in charge of health care decisions. Congressional Republicans would return consumers to a broken health care system where patients are at the mercy of the insurance companies. Insurance companies would:
Be allowed to drop people when they get sick.
Be allowed to deny coverage for children with pre-existing conditions.
Be allowed to put lifetime limits on coverage, which has caused thousands of insured, middle-class Americans to declare bankruptcy when a catastrophic illness strikes and they exceed the lifetime limit.
Be allowed to put unreasonable annual limits on coverage, cutting off coverage for hundreds of thousands of people when they need it most.
Be allowed to prevent parents from keeping their young adult children on their health plan as the children work to launch their careers.
Be allowed to make key preventive services, such as mammograms and immunizations, subject to deductibles and co-payments.
Be allowed to deny coverage for needed care without providing patients a chance to appeal to an independent third party.
Repealing health insurance reform would eliminate key protections for millions of Americans. We won’t go back to a broken, unsustainable health care system. We can’t afford it.