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Consumer Protections At Risk In Health Care Budget Debate

June 13, 1997

WHAT: AIDS Action, AARP, Citizen Action, the Consumer Coalition for Quality Health Care, and Families USA hold a press briefing to outline how early congressional decisions on the fiscal year 1998 budget bill may lead to a serious erosion of important consumer safeguards and protections. The press briefing will examine several warning signs emerging from congressional committee action in the U.S. House of Representatives, including:

1) Reductions in the right of Medicare beneficiaries to appeal a health plan's decision to deny medically-needy services;

2) Elimination of the right of senior citizens and disabled persons, including people with HIV/AIDS, to disenroll from managed care plans at any time;

3) Removal of a requirement that the quality of care provided by Medicare managed care plans be monitored by an independent, quality review organization;

4) Exemption of certain provider-sponsored organizations from existing quality and consumer protections;

5) Removal of basic consumer rights and requirements by exempting association health plans and multiple employer welfare arrangements from state regulation; and

6) Permission for states to mandate managed care for Medicaid recipients without the assurance of federal quality and consumer protections. Over 53 percent of adults and 90 percent of children living with AIDS rely on Medicaid for access to health care, including promising AIDS drug therapies.

WHEN: 1 p.m., Monday, June 16, 1997 (Lunch will be provided)

WHERE: First Amendment Room, National Press Club 14th and F Streets, Washington, DC

AIDS Action is the nation's foremost AIDS advocacy, representing all Americans affected by HIV/AIDS and over 1,400 community-based organizations that serve them.

For more information, contact:

José Zuñiga
(202) 986-1300 Ext. 3042

AIDS Action Council
1875 Connecticut Avenue NW #700
Washington DC 20009
202-986-1300, extension 3053
202-986-1345 (fax)
202-332-9614 (tty)

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This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.
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