FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jeff Hennie, MRF Vice-President of Government Relations firstname.lastname@example.org (e-mail)
HIPAA Call to Action
With Congress poised to return today from a sleepy month off fromWashington, it's a great time to call or e-mail your federal legislators and remind them to support HR 1076 and S 616, the two pieces oflegislation filed on behalf of motorcyclists to fix the discriminatory loopholes in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). These two pieces of legislation are currently sitting in committee before both bodies of Congress. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) encourages you to contact your Senators and Representatives this week.
The HIPAA loophole mentioned above allows employer-sponsored health insurance plans to deny payments for particular injuries that stem from any risky recreational behavior. Another wrinkle is that the employer can determine what behaviors they want to define as risky. Some have refused payment of hospital bills for injuries as common as sprained ankles resulting from jogging. And although it is a legal form of transportation subject to taxes, tolls and licensing fees, for some reason motorcycling is specifically mentioned in HIPAA as a hazardous recreational activity.
Support for HR 1076 and S 616 has been growing recently, and we have the State Motorcyclists' Rights Groups (SMROs) to thank. Grassroots activism on this issue has been growing, and this spring saw a swell of SMROs visiting Washington DC to lobby for this issue directly. A quick glance of the congressional supporters reveals that those states that visited DC are responsible for the bulk of the co-sponsors on the House bill.
Writing, phoning and e-mailing your elected officials is important, but of course nothing drives an issue home better than a face-to-face visit with your elected officials. Can't make it to Washington? Not enough vacation time or extra cash for airfare? Why not schedule a visit with your federal elected officials on their home turf in their district offices. If you can't meet directly with an official, ask to meet with an aide.
Not sure what to say when you contact your legislator? There is a wealth of information about this issue on the MRF website going back several years, and you can always call the MRF office in DC to discuss federal motorcyclists' rights issues before meeting with a legislator. And of course, you should also contact your SMRO for guidance and assistance before visiting your legislators.
Congress is flipping over the closed sign and resuming business this week, so make it a point to contact your legislators in the very near future. They have a lengthy (for Washington) work period with no more formal breaks until target adjournment at the end of October. With continuing support from motorcyclists and SMROs nationwide, as well as our partners in DC, we can get this discriminatory loophole fixed.
You can reach the US Captiol Switchboard and your Member of Congress at 202 224 3121.