What: All Issues : Government Checks on Corporate Power : Insurance Industry : HR 3590. (Health care overhaul) Murkowski of Alaska amendment that would require insurers to consult with professional organizations when deciding when to cover preventative screening for women/On agreeing to the amendment
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HR 3590. (Health care overhaul) Murkowski of Alaska amendment that would require insurers to consult with professional organizations when deciding when to cover preventative screening for women/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 356     Dec 03, 2009
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This vote was on an amendment by Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, that would have required health insurers to consult with professional organizations when deciding when to cover preventative screening for women, among other items. Murkowski’s amendment was offered to a bill that would create marketplaces for purchasing health insurance and create a public option for health care coverage, among other items.

Murkowski’s amendment was offered as an alternative to an amendment offered and adopted earlier by Barbara Mikulski, D-Md (see vote 355). Mikulski’s amendment would require health insurance providers to cover preventative care and screening for women.

“I think it is also important to recognize that what we do in my amendment is make sure the health plans consult the recommendations and guidelines of the professional medical organizations to determine what prevention benefits should be covered by these health insurance plans throughout the country. We also require plans to provide this information directly to the individuals. You get to see it for yourself. You get to make that determination. So what that means is the doctors and the specialists will be recommending what preventive services to cover, not those in Washington, DC,” Murkowski said.

Mikulski said Murkowski’s amendment, at its heart, only offers information, it does not guarantee access to preventative coverage for women.

“It also does not remove the cost barriers by eliminating the high deductibles for the copayments when you go to get a preventative or screening service. It tells insurance companies to give information on recommended preventative care. That is a good thing, but it is a threshold thing. You need to have universal access to the service,’ Mikulski said.

By a vote of 41-59, the amendment was rejected. Every Republican present voted for the amendment. All but one Democrat present voted against the amendment. The end result is that the measure went forward without language that would have required insurers to consult with professional organizations when deciding when to cover preventative screening for women.

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