Sens. Carper, Cardin And Franken Join Consumer Advocate To Discuss Key Consumer Protections In The Senate Health Reform Bill

Washington, DC— Democratic Senators Tom Carper, Ben Cardin and Al Franken joined William Vaughan of the Consumers Union on a conference call this afternoon to discuss the consumer protections included within The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The manager’s amendment to the bill, introduced yesterday, strengthens key reforms that benefit consumers like the medical loss ratio, patient’s bill of rights protections, and non-profit insurance options overseen by the Office of Personnel Management.
“Our senate bill, and specifically multi-state plans, will ensure that health insurance companies remain accountable to consumers and will provide Americans with more choice in purchasing health insurance,” said Senator Carper. "By using the same federal agency that negotiates health plans with insurance companies on behalf of all federal employees, we are saying that all Americans deserve access to the same quality and protections enjoyed by Members of Congress.”
Senator Cardin said: “In today’s health care system, insurance companies often fail to provide dependable coverage to the patients who need it most. By strengthening the Patient’s Bill of Rights provisions in The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the manager’s amendment ensures that once patients have access to insurance, they are protected from abusive practice and guaranteed the benefits their insurance policies provide. This bill is going have an immediate, positive impact on millions of Americans through added choice and protection.”
“Advocates have been trying to get these profit restrictions in place in many states, often with limited success,” said Senator Franken. “This is a potent measure that Sen. Rockefeller and I have been fighting for. It will limit insurers’ profits and put the brakes on skyrocketing insurance premiums. It’s a huge victory for those of us interested in consumer protection.”
William Vaughan said: “Consumers Union supports moving to cloture, moving this process forward. There are so many exciting, truly historic improvements for consumers in both the Senate and House bills that it is essential we move forward to a final product.”