HEALTH CARE REFORM: Boxer May Piggyback On Senate Bills
Saying the atmosphere is ripe for legislating patient protections, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) announced yesterday "she may start attaching patient-protection measures to other Senate bills to try to force a floor vote." According to an HMO survey Boxer sent to Californians who had contacted her about a variety of issues, "85% said Congress should pass a measure this year." Citing widespread support for passing patients' rights legislation, Boxer said she would "reserve my right to offer all or part" of her bill "as an amendment to any legislation moving through the Senate." And, Boxer predicted, Republicans would not dare "run the risk of stopping a very popular piece of legislation." The AP/San Jose Mercury News reports that Boxer's measure would institute independent arbitration for appeals of HMOs' denial of treatment, provide increased access to specialists and greater coverage of emergency care, allow women to choose OB/GYNs as their primary care doctor and prohibit "gag" clauses. (11/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.