Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Action Alert for Opponents of SB 1274

Rafael del Castillo sent out an action alert this morning for opponents of SB 1274. People are being asked to email Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, who was a Hawaii State Senator when the current consumer protection law was enacted.

Del Castillo is suggesting the following text be included in your email:

Please help us stop Senate Bill 1274 HD3 which repeals longstanding and highly effective consumer protections against health insurance abuses.

Our Legislature and Governor Abercrombie have been unable to get assurances from the DHHS Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) that federal regulations do not require us to throw out our very successful consumer protection law, enacted while you served in the Hawaii Senate.

I ask you to intercede on our behalf with the CCIIO. If the CCIIO cannot give us an answer in the next 10 days while SB1274 is in conference committee, then we need a 1 year extension on the July 1, 2011 due date to resolve this issue without harming Hawaii consumers. The federal government has no legitimate interest in requiring us to repeal a law consumers strongly support and replacing it with one we strongly oppose.

Only the health insurers in Hawaii support SB1274, and that is because in its present form, it will destroy the considerable power Hawaii consumers now have to avoid and, when necessary, reverse bad and even selfish decisions by health plans in denying life-saving medical care, thank to the wisdom of your legislature in 1998.

Health insurers are using our $ and taxpayer subsidies to fight to repeal our rights and protections. Please help us defeat that effort.


I added some personal information into my email to the Congresswoman. If you are uncomfortable with her secure email system you can also fax her at (202) 225-0688.

You need to know the four-digit extension of your zip code to sign in on Congresswoman Hanabusa's website.

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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.