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Motorcyclists are a diverse bunch. An increasing number of us are women. Many of us are people of color. However, the organized motorcycle groups (such as the American Motorcyclist Association) tends to lean towards Republicans. Why? They think (get this) the Repugs are more interested in protecting our rights!
Ok, now that you have recovered from shock- one of the rights motorcyclists are interested in is the right to ride without penalty It's not in the Bill of Rights, but the average motorcyclist is in favor. There are federal regulations that make it possible for health care insurers to deny motorcyclists coverage.

Health insurers, of course, just want to take our money and not provide any benefits. Several years ago, some bright insurer had the idea of refusing coverage to people who engaged in any sport more dangerous than lawn croquet.

The following press release from the American Motorcycle Association sums it up (note: I assume Mr. Burgess is a miserable creep, and this is the only thing he has ever done for his constitutents)

U.S. Representative Michael Burgess (R-TX-26) recently introduced H.R. 2793, "The HIPAA Recreational Injury Technical Correction Act." A similar measure obtained 177 bipartisan cosponsors last Congress.

H.R. 2793 aims at ending health care discrimination for individuals participating in legal transportation and recreational activities-activities like motorcycling, snowmobiling, horseback riding, 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.

"The development of this bill could not have been possible without bipartisan congressional support and the hard work of the American Motorcyclist Association," stated Congressman Burgess.  "I look forward to working alongside the AMA to get this legislation passed into law."

Burgess was joined by Congressman Ted Strickland (D-OH-6) in introducing the House legislation.

Congressman Strickland said, "It's shameful to allow health insurers to discriminate against individuals who take part in perfectly legal modes of transportation, hobbies or activities.  According to this rule, a person injured while drinking and driving would be covered by their health insurance, but an individual who falls from a motorcycle may not.  It just makes no sense."

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, such as motorcycling.

In 2001, the Department of Health and Human Services released the final rules that would govern the HIPAA law.  The rules recognize that employers cannot refuse health care coverage to an employee on the basis of their participation in a recognized legal activity.  However, the benefits can be denied for injuries sustained in connection with those activities.  Therefore, you were guaranteed the right to health care coverage but not guaranteed any benefits in return for your monthly payments.  

The AMA is urging all motorcyclists to notify their Representatives and tell them to co-sponsor and support H.R. 2793, "The HIPAA Recreational Injury Technical Correction Act."

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Originally posted to la motocycliste on Wed Feb 08, 2006 at 12:48 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is old news (none)
    This is old news, and I'm pretty sure that it's no longer an issue, that the rule was rewritten. In any case, it didn't apply to regular health insurance ever, only to companies who self-insured.

    PS: You should've seen the outcry from the equestrians. :-)

  •  donorcycles are more dangerous than combat tours (none)
    In Afganistan, or so i have read regarding the stats of soldiers KIA in combat there versus killed on motorycles at home.

    They are legal, but deadly; the law clearly however should insist on providing coverage.  

    What about smoking ?  Its also very dangerous and insurers can charge seperate rates to those who decide to do it...should there be allowed a surcharge for those that own a donorcyle ?      

    Out of my cold dead hands

    by bluelaser2 on Wed Feb 08, 2006 at 12:59:28 PM PST

    •  donorcycle? n/t (none)

      "The war is not meant to be won. It is meant to be continuous." George Orwell, 1984.

      by liberal atheist on Wed Feb 08, 2006 at 06:40:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I suspect a lot of things (none)
      are more dangerous, statistically, than going to war. I suspect that any number of activities, statistically, are a lot more or less risky than they are commonly believed to be. In some cases this may be because of intentional misinformation (e.g. disapproved activities being hyped as dangerous); in others, it is a simple lack of information. I think that this misinformation is a good argument against penalizing self-endangering behavior.

      "The war is not meant to be won. It is meant to be continuous." George Orwell, 1984.

      by liberal atheist on Wed Feb 08, 2006 at 06:46:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  not abstract- literally (none)
        more soldiers were killed on motorycles than who had been deployed to afganistan- from the SAME group (it was like 340 killed on bikes and 280 in combat)

         

        Out of my cold dead hands

        by bluelaser2 on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:59:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  not abstract- literally (none)
        more soldiers were killed on motorycles than who had been deployed to afganistan- from the SAME group (it was like 340 killed on bikes and 280 in combat)

         

        Out of my cold dead hands

        by bluelaser2 on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:59:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  According to National Highway statistics... (none)
          ....3,661 motorcyclists were killed in the US in 2003. Are we to believe that almost 10% of there unfortunates were members of the same Army battalion?

          I have been riding motorcycles for over 25 years, by the way.

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