While the transformation of healthcare in the U.S. from traditional fee-for-service practice to managed care has brought certain benefits, problems accompanying the rapid growth of managed care have also emerged. These include reports of limited access to medical professionals, restricted benefits, reduced services, and denial of coverage in some cases. Such reports have raised concerns and generated massive efforts at the state and federal level to enact managed care consumer protection laws, ensuring easier access to treatment, more information about health plans, and better grievance procedures.

At the federal level, the clearest and most comprehensive managed care consumer protection bill now under consideration is the Patients’ Bill of Rights Act (HR3605, S. 1890). The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) joins with more than one hundred national groups in endorsing the concepts embodied in this bill, which ensures adequate, affordable, accessible health care coverage consistent with JCPA’s Health Care Principles, adopted in June 1993.

The JCPA believes strongly that actions must be taken now to regulate the burgeoning managed care industry. We, therefore, urge Members of Congress to support swift passage of the Patients’ Bill of Rights Act in the current legislative session.

-end-

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