Suing HMO's Debate and Poll
Should patients have the right to sue their health plan? 

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Should patients have the right to sue their health plan?

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FACT 1

The most contentious aspect of any new legislation covering health maintenance organizations (HMOs) is whether patients should have expanded rights to sue their health plan if health care is denied. Senate Democrats and Republicans each have a ``patients' bill of rights,'' but there are significant differences. Democrats: Give patients who are harmed by the denial of care the right to sue their health insurance company. Republicans: Give no new rights to sue. 

PRO 2

If we can sue doctors hospitals and nurses, why can't we sue the ones who make the decisions HMOs? Why are they exempt from the justice of our courts? Those who would deny this basic right of redress in the courts are bowing to the special interest money that comes from HMOs.

 

CON 3

Lawsuits only lead to higher health care costs for businesses, who will have to absorb the legal costs. And eventually, increased health care costs will lead to businesses dropping health care coverage for employees.

 

PRO 3.1

States which permit suits against HMOs have not experienced an inundation of legal actions. Most lawyers charge contingency fees and only get paid if they win. Why would they endanger their livelihoods with frivolous lawsuits that have no chance of success?

 

PRO 4

If your spouse is refused treatment, because the HMO is looking at the bottom line, and then your spouse dies because of the HMO's refusal, shouldn't you be able to sue? What's going to force that HMO to improve.

 

FACT 5

The health care industry spent more on lobbying than anyone else, shelling out $95.5 million as Congress debated whether to impose new regulations on managed care health plans.

 

 

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