04-09-2001

EFFORT TO RESCUE RIDERS’ HEALTH CARE MOVES AHEAD!

Motorcycle Riders Foundation -- E-MAIL NEWS RELEASE
PO BOX 1808, Washington, DC 20013-1808
202-546-0983 (voice) 202-546-0986 (fax)
wyld@mrf.org (e-mail) http://www.mrf.org (website)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Tom Wyld
April 9, 2001 #01-14 Phone: 202-546-0983

EFFORT TO RESCUE RIDERS’ HEALTH CARE MOVES AHEAD!
Over 50 representatives’ signed on already but there’s still time for your U.S. Rep. to send a letter!

Washington, DC … April 9, 2001 – The letter to help rescue employer-provided health care for motorcyclists is on its way to Health & Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson.

Owing to a coordinated lobbying effort by the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, the American Motorcyclist Association and State Motorcyclists’ Rights Organizations (SMROs) nationwide, over 50 Members of Congress have signed the letter authored by U.S. Rep. Mark Green of Wisconsin. The letter encourages HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson to safeguard motorcyclists from being discriminated against by employer health care plans. At issue is the rule, promulgated last December by the previous administration, which implements the “non-discrimination” provisions of the Health Care Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Under that rule, employer health care plans can deny motorcyclists benefits in cases of accidental injury.

“The Motorcycle Riders Foundation thanks all riders and all SMROs for making the calls, writing the letters and paying the visits to Washington that led to over 50 signatures on the Green letter,” said MRF President Tom Pauley. “Now, it’s critically important that the these same riders and SMROs extend a hearty thank you to those Members of Congress who signed Congressman Green’s letter.” (Telephone U.S. Representatives at 202-224-3121or obtain their email address at http://thomas.loc.gov. PLEASE NOTE: The most effective communication to Congress is still the hand written letter or personal type-written letter [print and sign your email note] sent by US MAIL). Phone calls are good but E-MAIL is over-whelming Congress and may fail to get the attention we want.

Representatives who’ve signed the Green letter include: U.S. Reps. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Tom Barrett (D-Wis.), Roscoe Bartlett, (R-Md.), Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill.), Mary Bono (R-Calif.), Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), Chris Cannon (R-Utah), Howard Coble (R-N.C.), Larry Combest (R-Texas), Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.), Nathan Deal (R-Ga.), Lane Evans (D-Ill.), Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), Paul Gillmor (R-Ohio), Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Melissa Hart (R-Penn.), J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.), David Hobson (R-Ohio), Henry Hyde(R-Ill.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Tim Johnson (R-Ill.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Gerald Kleczka (D-Wis.), Ray LaHood (R-Ill.), Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio), William Lipinski (D-Ill.), Bill Luther (D-Minn.), Donald Manzullo (R-Ill.), Robert Ney (R-Ohio), Anne Northup (R-Ky.), James Oberstar (D-Minn.), C.L. Otter (R-Idaho), Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), Thomas Petri (R-Wis.), David Phelps (D-Ill.), Todd Platts (R-Penn.), Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), John Shimkus (R-Ill.), Ronnie Shows (D-Miss.), Rob Simmons (R-Conn.), Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), Ted Strickland (D-Ohio), Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio), James Traficant (D-Ohio), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Don Young (R-Alaska) and Jerry Weller (R-Ill.).

If your Congressman is not on this list, contact your Congressman today. Urge that he or she send a separate letter to HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson.

Here are the facts:
1. HIPAA contains language that prohibits health care benefit discrimination against employees who happen to own and use motorcycles.
2. A Senate floor exchange between Senators Moseley-Braun and Kassebaum on 18 April 1996 confirmed that this language was “intended to ensure that, among other things, participants and beneficiaries are not excluded from health care coverage because they participate in activities such as motorcycling…”
3. That language – and that understanding – became law in 1996 when 421 Congressmen and 98 U.S. Senators voted to pass HIPAA.
4. The regulators who wrote the rule on HIPAA, however, narrowly interpreted the word “participation” in a way that legalizes the denial of health benefits to motorcyclists who sustain an injury while riding. That narrow interpretation is wrong and directly contrary to Congressional intent.

Thanks for taking a stand to protect health care for motorcyclists. And Ride with the Leaders™ by passing along this “MRF RIDERS’ ALERT” to 3 other riders.

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- MRF: My Ride is Freedom -

The first motorcyclists' rights organization to establish a full-time legislative advocacy presence in Washington. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is the only Washington voice devoted exclusively to the street rider. MRF established MRFPAC in the early 1990s to advocate the election of candidates who would champion the cause of rider safety and rider freedom. MRF proudly claims state motorcyclists' rights organizations and the very founders of the American rider rights movement among its leading members. Motorcyclists worldwide can thumb-start their search for rider rights and safety on the web at www.mrf.org.

All information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, incorporated in 1987, is an independent, membership-based national motorcyclists' rights organization headquartered in Washington D.C. which operates in co-partnership with State Motorcyclists' Rights Organizations nationwide. The MRF is involved in federal and state legislation and regulation, motorcycling safety education, training, licensing and public awareness. The MRF provides individual and SMRO member-volunteers with guidance, support and information to protect motorcyclists' rights and advance motorcycling and its associated lifestyle. The MRF sponsors annual regional and national educational seminars for motorcyclists' rights activists and publishes a bi-monthly newsletter, THE MRF REPORTS.

Voice: 202-546-0983, Fax: 202-546-0986, E-Mail: wyld@mrf.org, website: http://www.mrf.org


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