June 22,2010

Press Contact:


Baucus Comment Regarding New Regulations on Consumer Protections in Health Reform Law


To: Reporters and Editors
From: Scott Mulhauser and Erin Shields for Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.)
Re: Baucus Comment Regarding New Regulations on Consumer Protections in Health Reform Law 

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) commented today following a speech by President Obama outlining new regulations issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to facilitate the implementation of consumer protections – known as the Patient’s Bill of Rights – in the new health care reform law.  Chairman Baucus was instrumental in passing the new law, the Affordable Care Act, which provides important protections from insurance company abuses.   This week marks the three-month anniversary of the Affordable Care Act becoming law. 

From Chairman Baucus: 

“Three months ago we passed the landmark health care reform law to lower skyrocketing health care costs, protect patients from insurance company abuses and improve quality throughout our health care system.  Many Americans in my home state of Montana and across the country have already seen firsthand the vital benefits this new law has to offer.  Seniors have begun receiving checks in the mail to help cover the costs of the prescription medicines they need, and small businesses are now eligible for billions of dollars in tax credits to help them afford health insurance for their employees.   

With the new Patient’s Bill of Rights, the law also begins to end insurance company abuses, protect American consumers and put patients and doctors back in control this year.  We have worked for more than 15 years to secure these protections and the robust policies we were able to achieve in this Bill of Rights represent a victory for patients across the country.  The Patient’s Bill of Rights will ensure all patients have the freedom to choose their primary care doctors, pediatricians and OBGYNs. The law will also prevent insurance companies from placing arbitrary limits on the amount of care patients can receive, and it will prevent insurance companies from dropping coverage for patients when they get sick and need it most.  At the same time, the law provides for strict oversight of premium rate increases and requires insurance companies to spend premium dollars on improving patient care and benefits, not lining the pockets of their CEOs.  

I thank the Department of Health and Human Services for its swift work to implement these consumer protections.  We will be watching closely to see that insurance companies comply and will we use every tool the law gives us to prevent insurance companies from using these new consumer protections as an excuse to raise premiums.”  

More information regarding the HHS regulations announced today is available on Healthreform.gov at: http://healthreform.gov/newsroom/new_patients_bill_of_rights.html

Text of the regulations is available on the Federal Register at: http://www.federalregister.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2010-15278_PI.pdf

A complete implementation timeline of all the benefits in the new Affordable Care Act is available at: http://dpc.senate.gov/healthreformbill/healthbill65.pdf.