September 23,2011

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Baucus Applauds Patient’s Bill of Rights’ Progress Extending Health Care Coverage, Protecting Patients from Abusive Insurance Industry Practices

On First Anniversary, Finance Chairman Says Patient’s Bill of Rights Is Putting Americans In Charge of Their Healthcare

Washington, DCOn the one-year anniversary of the Patient’s Bill of Rights’ enactment, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today applauded the progress made protecting patients from private insurance companies’ abusive practices and extending health insurance coverage to a million more young adults.  This portion of the Affordable Care Act, which Baucus helped enact as a key architect of the health reform law, empowers consumers and helps them make informed choices about their own health care.

“A million young adults are now insured under their parents’ plans thanks to health reform,” Baucus said.  “No longer can insurance companies drop your coverage when you get sick and need it the most.  Millions of patients have access to preventive treatments that help them stay healthy and out of emergency rooms.  The Patient’s Bill of Rights helps ensure a quality, healthy life for so many Montanans and so many folks across the country.”

The Patient’s Bill of Rights protects all Americans’ right to select their own doctors without the influence of insurance companies.  It prevents plans from discriminating against children with pre-existing conditions and ends arbitrary dollar caps on care.  It allows patients to seek emergency care at a hospital outside their health plan’s network, and it mandates insurance companies must publicly justify premium increases.  And in just one year, approximately one million more young adults have health insurance thanks to the provision extending the age limit children can stay on their parent’s health insurance plans to age 26.  These young adults are now able to receive cost-effective preventive care to help better ensure a healthy life and prevent costly, avoidable illnesses later in life – lowering overall health care costs.

Baucus worked to write and pass legislation in both the Finance Committee and the Senate that includes these vital protections for consumers.