- Patients still can almost never sue their HMOs for malpractice.
- A patient's doctor still cannot make the final decision over what procedures are medically necessary. Republicans instead passed a provision that leaves the final decision for medical procedures to a doctor in the insurance company.
- Republicans let HMOs impose "gag rules" on doctors, preventing them from discussing all treatments with their patients.
- Republicans defeated a provision to let patients keep their same doctors for a few months if they are forced to switch health plans.
- Women cannot choose their obstetrician-gynecologists as their primary care doctor. Under the Republican legislation, women cannot see Ob-Gyns without their primary doctor's permission.
Friday, August 06, 1999
By The Building Tradesman
"You're either part of the solution or part of the problem." - Eldridge Cleaver, 1968. Last month, in a breathtaking display of what's wrong with health care in America, Senate Republicans on July 15 defeated the Democratic-sponsored, labor-backed "Patient's Bill of Rights." Below is a column by the Wall Street Journal's Albert Hunt, which explains how political ideology has moved many Republicans way out of the mainstream when it comes to the problem of regulating HMOs. The best way to explain what happened with the 53-47 defeat of the Senate bill is to tell you about some of the practices that will be allowed to continue in the health care industry, thanks to the GOP vote:
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