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I posted about this some weeks ago- and got some whiny return posts about "donorcycles." Sorry! A lot of people ride motorcycles. A lot of people VOTE REPUBLICAN because they believe that REPUBLICANS will work for motorcyclist's rights.
Health care is a human right, and should not be denied because of a choice of legal recreational opportunity.
         From The American Motorcyclist Organization:
ACTION ALERT - WRITE NOW - SENATE INTRODUCES HEALTH INSURANCE BILL FOR MOTORCYCLISTS!
TELL YOUR SENATORS YOU WANT THEIR SUPPORT ON THIS ISSUE!
U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) recently introduced S. 577, "The HIPAA Recreational Injury Technical Correction Act." Last Congress, the full Senate unanimously passed similar legislation. S. 577 aims at ending health care discrimination for individuals participating in legal transportation and recreational activities-activities like motorcycling, snowmobiling, horseback riding, skiing and all-terrain vehicle riding.

This legislation addresses a loophole caused by a Department of Health and Human Services' rule making it possible for health care benefits to be denied to those who are injured while participating in these activities. "What many people don't know until it's too late, is that currently health insurance providers are legally permitted to deny benefits for injuries sustained while participating in certain recreational or transportation activities such as motorcycling, snowmobiling, skiing, and horseback riding," said Collins. "This policy is unfair, and I am working with my colleagues to change it." Collins was joined by Senator Feingold (D-WI) in introducing the Senate legislation. "From riding Harley Davidson motorcycles to visiting the Snowmobile Hall of Fame in St. Germain, these activities are part of Wisconsin's heritage and economy," Feingold said. "It simply doesn't make sense to exclude those participating in these activities from health care benefits." On August 21, 1996 an important opportunity arose when President Clinton signed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), prohibiting employers from denying health care coverage based on a worker's pre-existing medical conditions or participation in legal activities. In 2001, the Health Care Finance Administration released the final rules that would govern the law. The rules recognize that employers cannot refuse health care coverage to an employee on the basis of their participation in a recognized recreational activity. However, the benefits can be denied for injuries sustained in connection with those activities. Essentially, the regulation grants equal status to motorcyclists without any substantive benefits. "Because of this loophole, someone who participates in motorcycling or snowmobiling could be denied health care coverage, while someone who is injured while drinking and driving a car would be protected," Senator Feingold said. "It is time that Congress corrected this so that those who are abiding by the law are not discriminated against." The AMA is urging all motorcyclists to notify their Senators and tell them to co-sponsor and support S.577, "The HIPAA Recreational Injury Technical Correction Act."

Originally posted to la motocycliste on Fri Apr 21, 2006 at 01:26 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Not to be snarky - I support ... (0+ / 0-)

    ...this legislation - but why no sympathy herein for hang gliding, sky-diving and Bungee-jumping?

  •  the list was not exclusive (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dougymi, 73rd virgin

    As long as it doesn't wreck the environment or scare the horses, we are in favor.

  •  Ex-biker here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Buddha Hat

    I was heavily into motorcycles at one time.  Herte's my perspective on this:

    Motorcyclists should definitely get 100% medical coverage, but ONLY if they wear a helmet, eye protection, long pants, boots, jacket, and gloves, even if they're not required by local laws.  (And no, I NEVER got on a bike without full gear, including a very heavy leather jacket, steel-toe boots, gloves, and a full-face helmet.)

    It drives me absolutely nuts when I see some moron on a bike with no gloves, in a T-shirt and shorts, and sneakers.  The phrase "snail trail waiting to happen" leaps to mind when I see that.

    I think it's perfectly acceptable to say, "If you want full coverage, you have to meet society halfway and take reasonable steps to protect yourself."

    •  OK, I'm going to start the Breakfast Police! (0+ / 0-)

      Eating a high fat diet causes cancer, high blood pressure, strokes, heart disease etc. etc. We will NOT extend health insurance to you until you stop eating eggs and ham for breakfast!

      •  It's Coming.... (0+ / 0-)

        ....smokers are the easy target thus far, but insurance companies looking to foist more of their health care costs onto Medicare and Medicaid will be creating new bogeymen all the time to cover the soaring costs of health care.  I'm afraid those of us who want to simply live free without the wagging finger of Big Brother or Big Insurance in our faces are in for a much more tyrannical American than what we're used to.

        •  Maybe there should be incentives to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Iranaqamuk

          control the soaring cost of healthcare. Let's start by not subsidizing obviously unnecessary risk-taking. If you want to smoke, eat cheeseburgers for every meal and bungee jump your motorcycle over a cliff with no helmet, knock yourself out. Just don't ask the rest of us to pay for it - we didn't have any of the fun, so we don't want any of the cost! You call it "tyranny", I call it "you get what you pay for."

          •  Unfortunately.... (0+ / 0-)
            .....you're premise is the exact inverse of reality.  By dying sooner, smokers, obese people, and adrenaline junkies who die younger run up substantially shorter lifetime health care bills than do the "healthy".
  •  Lance riding with W helped, I see (0+ / 0-)

    I noticed that bicycling is not on that list.

    I broke my collar bone last year riding my bicycle.  But I had my Brain Bucket on.  

    It looks like those rides that Lance Armstrong did with W paid some dividends for us.

  •  I've never ridden a motorcycle, but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    la motocycliste

    ...as far as transportation goes, don't they get much better gas mileage than most cars? Shouldn't we be encouraging people to ride them in a safe manner as an initial, albeit small, step in solving America's fuel problems?

  •  I don't smoke (0+ / 0-)

    but I have often thought about getting myself a suicycle, motorcycle, whatever. If I ride in a State with no helmet laws and crash spectacularly, then I don't have much to worry about.

    I would like to see the price of medical care driven down at the expense of insurance companies. I don't want to see anybody protected from real torts.

    We have to have a system, if not of socialized care, at least of available care. It is unconscionable to gouge people without insurance and charge them several times the price of HMO's and agressively sue them if they can't instantly pay.

  •  Philosophy of insurance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Iranaqamuk

    Obviously in any group of people there are going to be some who are more at risk than the rest.  If you are selling insurance you have two choices:

    1. Charge everyone the same, thereby forcing the people with less risk to subsidize the people with more risk.
    1. Charge a risk based rate so that the people with less risk pay less than the people with more risk.

    Clearly, if the marketplace has companies selling insurance under both schemes, the ones selling under scheme 2 will attract the people with less risk and the one selling with scheme 1 will attract the people with more risk.

    So, what do you do?  The only way to overrule the marketplace is to forbid offering type 2 insurance.  We are headed that way with health care, but think the opposite about auto insurance.  I guess the philosophical difference is the the concept of fault, but lifestyle is a form of fault, isn't it?

    •  leave it all up to the market (0+ / 0-)

      The market fixes everything!  Look at all the great things it's done for our wonderful health care system and energy industry!

      •  Life is a game (0+ / 0-)

        People will learn the rules and work them to get the most they can out of them.  The trick is to set up the rules so that people's self interested decisions yield the result you want.  The more complex the rules, the more likely it is that people will find ways to 'win' that are not what you were hoping they were going to do.

        If you reread my post, I am not advocating either position.  I just want to point out that if you are buying insurance, and are at lower risk, you want to buy from a company that discriminates in your favor.  If you are at higher risk, then you want to buy from a company that doesn't discriminate and makes others subsidize you.

        You can give up on the whole insurance thing and have the government pay for everyone and get the money out of taxes via some formula that has nothing to do with risk, but then you have the idea that your personal life-style choices impose costs on the government giving it the right to impose restrictions on them.  This is, of course, the basis for helmet laws -- "if you crash it'll cost us a lot of money, so we will make you wear a helmet to lower our expenses".  This can be extended without limit to diet, forced exercise etc.

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