Posted: April 27, 2009
Recent Updates from the Motorcycle Riders Foundation
By The MRF
HR 1253 - HIPAA Update
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is pleased to report that the U.S. House of Representatives has taken a major step toward repairing the loophole created when the regulations for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 were written. This loophole allows insurers to deny health care benefits to victims of motorcycle crashes simply because they were riding a motorcycle. This loophole also allows insurers to conceal this exclusion of benefits from the insured until a claim has
On March 31, 2009 the U.S. House, by a vote of 422 to 3, passed HR 1253, the Health Insurance Restrictions and Clarifications Act of 2009. This bill will require the insurance provider to fully disclose, prior to sale of the plan and prior to participant's enrollment in the plan, all of the limitations and restrictions of the plan.
While this bill does not close the loophole, it does do two very important things; it formalizes the sense of the Congress that this issue needs to be corrected, and it will have the effect of fully disclosing the depth of this loophole with the participants.
"The most troubling aspect of this source of injury loophole has always been the unknown. Not knowing if you are covered or not by your health insurance in the wake of a tragedy is just unacceptable, and HR 1253 sheds light on the substantial coverage gaps that exist today," said Jeff Hennie, MRF Vice President of Government Relations. He added, "The MRF remains committed to fully closing the loophole and making it illegal for any insurance provider not to cover motorcycle injuries."
The bill is now awaiting action by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. The MRF encourages all motorcyclists to contact their U.S. Senators to encourage them to pass HR 1253.
CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION UPDATE
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has learned that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted last Friday, April 17, 2009, on the issue of banning sales of youth ATVs and motorcycles because of lead levels. The CPSC voted to keep the ban in place; however, they did issue a two-year stay of enforcement of the ban. This stay of enforcement will allow manufacturers and retailers of youth ATVs and motorcycles to continue building and selling these items. It also gives the industry two years to comply with the new law and if, for some reason, it is technologically infeasible to manufacture a certain part with less lead than allowed by law, the industry will have a chance to make an argument to the CSPC.
The two-member CPSC board decided unanimously. Both the acting Chairperson Nancy Nord and Commissioner Thomas Moore voted to deny the petition from industry to completely overturn the ban; however, both cited safety as the reason for their votes to issue the two-year stay. Nord and Moore both claim, "A bigger safety concern than lead exposure is that the elimination of youth ATV sales will likely increase the number of adult ATVs purchased to be used by younger children, therefore increasing risk of injury and death." Industry has 45 days to apply for the stay.
You can read the decision letter of the CPSC here:
Legislation does currently exist that would force the CPSC to exempt all youth ATVs and motorcycles. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) has introduced HR 1587, and the bill has 35 co-sponsors to date. The MRF encourages you to ask your Member of the US House to co-sponsor this important legislation.
Motorcycle Riders Foundation Vice President Michael "Boz" Kerr Passes Away
April 20 - Early this morning we received the most sad and unfortunate news that Michael "Boz" Kerr passed away peacefully in his sleep overnight. He had just returned from a very successful Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF)Beast of the East Motorcycle Rights Conference. At the time of his passing "Boz" was the current Vice President of the MRF and Chairman of the Legislative Committee. Prior to his being elected Vice President he served as an MRF Board Member in the capacity of MRF PAC Chairman. "Boz" was instrumental in setting up the stand alone MRF Awareness and Education Organization (MRFA&E) and was the driving force behind the upcoming
National Motorcycle Awareness day in WashingtonD.C., known as "Bikers Inside the Beltway".
"Boz" was also a past President of the Chicago Chapter of ABATE of Illinois and recently retired as Chairman of ABATE of Illinois FEDPAC. In the past year he was awarded the MRF Presidents Cup of Distinction and ABATE of Illinois' highest honor, the Rich Neb Award.
"Boz" was the finest political operative I have ever had the privilege to work with and his concern and passion for motorcycle rights and his genuineness will be greatly missed by the MRF and the entire motorcycling rights community. We have certainly lost one of the great ones in our movement. Words cannot express the amount of sadness and the profound impact that losing another one of our own will have. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to his wife and family, his ABATE family, and his MRF family", said MRF President Kirk "Hardtail" Willard.
"Boz" was well known for his speeches, such as the "Greatest Generation", "Mr. Jones", and most recently "Making Thunderbirds; long, low, lean, and fast". Godspeed brother, you will be missed.
For more information on any of these items visit the MRF website at http://www.mrf.org
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