PATIENTS’ RIGHTS: AAHP Ad Attacks Norwood-Dingell Plan
The American Association of Health Plans announced yesterday it will run a television ad stating its opposition to the Norwood-Dingell managed care reform bill, CongressDaily reports. The ad argues that nearly two million people may lose their health coverage under the plan. The ad, which compares HMOs to a "pinata being bashed about by politicians," says, "That's why so many groups oppose this game. They know that when politicians play doctor, real people can get hurt." The ad is the culmination of the AAHP's two-year campaign against Norwood-Dingell, and also includes a plan to mobilize 100,000 people to ask the bill's supporters about its potential costs caused by increased lawsuits and employers dropping health coverage. AAHP President and CEO Karen Ignagni said the plan was merely building on the "flawed model" of the malpractice liability system and said an "external appeals process" would be "far more efficient for patients" than suing HMOs. Supporters of Norwood-Dingell, however, said the implication that "lawsuits would be the first recourse for patients" is false. "The Norwood-Dingell bill that passed the House has always required that patients exhaust (the) external appeals process before going to court unless there is a death or serious injury of some sort," one Democratic aide said (Fulton, 9/7).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.