The new health care legislation has a loophole that would allow health insurance companies to put limits on medical care for patients with catastrophic illnesses such as cancer.
The legislation that originally passed the Senate health committee last summer would have banned such limits, but a tweak to that provision weakened it in the bill now moving toward a Senate vote.
As currently written, the Senate Democratic health care bill would permit insurance companies to place annual limits on the dollar value of medical care, as long as those limits are not “unreasonable.” The bill does not define what level of limits would be allowable, delegating that task to administration officials.
Adding to the puzzle, the new language was quietly tucked away in a clause in the bill still captioned “No lifetime or annual limits.”
The American Cancer Society Action Network was reportedly taken by surprise and have not been able to get any explanation for it:
“We don’t know who put it in, or why it was put in,” said Stephen Finan, a policy expert with the cancer society’s advocacy affiliate.
Advocates for patients say they’re concerned the language will stay in the bill all the way to Obama’s desk.
The question here is who put this limit into the bill in the first place?
If this is true, then this bill surely is a gift to the insurance companies, while selling out patients in need of costly care.
This needs to be taken out of the bill.