Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New proposed Hawaii legislation is anti-health consumer

This bill will be discussed on KKCR at about 9:15 this morning.

Hawaii House bill 1047 (and the companion Senate bill 1274) will strip away fundamental health care consumer rights.

Right now if your managed care company doesn't agree with your doctor, you can file an appeal with the state's Insurance commissioner.  They do what is called an "external review."  If you win, your lawyer's fees are paid, so there is no financial pressure against people filing for their medical rights.

The new bills will do away with this.  People will have to pay their lawyers up front because the law forbids the looser from paying the consumer's attorney bills.

It will do away with the ability to go to court if you still don't like the insurance commission's review.

It puts all the responsibility for medical care decisions on to the people who are profiting from our privatized Medicaid system.

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About Me

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I'm the mom of a child with disabilities. Hannah's first neurologist said she might never develop beyond the level of a 2 month old infant, and there wasn't anything I could do about it. The brain damage was just too severe. Nine years later, she walks, uses a touchscreen computer and I've just been shown she can learn to construct sentences and do simple math with the right piece of technology. Along the way, I discovered I needed to teach myself what Hannah's rights to services really were. Learning about early intervention services led to reading about IDEA and then to EPSDT. I've been waiting for the Obama administration to realize the power and potential of EPSDT for the medical rights - including the right to stay at home with their families - of children with disabilities. The health reform people talk about long term care, and the disability people talk about education and employment, but nobody is talking about EPSDT. So I am.