Congressman Garamendi Votes to Preserve the Patient’s Bill of Rights, House Republicans Vote to Repeal Vital Consumer Protections
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek, CA), who served as California’s Insurance Commissioner for eight years, today joined House Democrats in voting to preserve the Patient’s Bill of Rights. House Republicans, in their first major policy vote of the 112th Congress, voted to repeal the critical consumer protections found in the Patient’s Bill of Rights. The repeal passed by a 245-189 vote, with all 242 Republicans voting with the insurance industry and 189 Democrats voting with American consumers.
"If you are in the market for health insurance today, because of the Patient’s Bill of Rights, you are now protected by the strongest consumer protections in American history – protections now law because Congressional Democrats fought for you," said Congressman Garamendi, a key health care advisor to President Bill Clinton. "At a time when we should be focused on creating the jobs millions of Americans desperately need, today House Republicans voted to take away consumer protections from you, putting the insurance industry back in charge of your health care."
Garamendi identified some of the pro-consumer provisions in the Patient’s Bill of Rights under threat of repeal in an op-ed with Congressman George Miller that appeared in the Contra Costa Times this weekend.
"House Republicans voted to once again let insurance companies deny you coverage for a pre-existing condition and to kick you off your health insurance if you get sick," added Garamendi. "They voted to repeal new protections in Medicare and to continue forcing millions of seniors to pay thousands out-of-pocket for prescription drugs. Today was a great day for insurance company CEOs, but it was a sad day for every American who thinks we all deserve access to affordable health care."
More information on the Patient’s Bill of Rights is available at HealthCare.gov.
If the Patient’s Bill of Rights were repealed, it would harm residents of the 10th Congressional District by:
- Allowing insurance companies to deny coverage to 119,000 to 308,000 CA-10 residents, including 9,000 to 43,000 children with pre-existing conditions;
- Rescinding consumer protections for 497,000 CA-10 residents who have health insurance through their employer or the market for private insurance;
- Eliminating health care tax credits for up to 13,100 small businesses and 106,000 families;
- Increasing prescription drug costs for 11,800 seniors who hit the Part D drug "donut hole" and denying new preventative care benefits to 96,000 seniors;
- Increasing the costs of early retiree coverage for up to 8,900 early retirees;
- Eliminating new health care coverage options for 3,200 uninsured young adults;
- Increasing the number of people without health insurance by 24,000 individuals; and
- Increasing the costs to hospitals of providing uncompensated care by $23 million annually.