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Mac Made


The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports that its efforts, along with those of several other organizations, have resulted in more than 100 U.S. House members backing legislation that would ban health-insurance discrimination against motorcyclists, all-terrain vehicle riders and others.

The legislators have expressed their support for HR 1749 -- The Health Care Parity for Legal Transportation and Recreational Activities Act of 2003 -- which would bar health-care discrimination against those who take part in legal transportation and recreational activities such as motorcycling, ATV riding, snowmobiling, skiing or horseback riding.

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Russ Feingold (D-WI) introduced similar legislation in the Senate: S 423.

The bi-partisan measures are in response to action taken by federal regulators that legalized health-insurance discrimination against riders.In 1996, Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which prohibits companies from denying access to employer-sponsored health insurance for motorcyclists and those who participate in other recreational activities. However, federal regulators created a loophole that allows the denial of benefits for injuries sustained while recreating.

"If the employer offers it, and riders pay for it, then they should get it," said Ed Moreland, AMA vice president for government relations.

The AMA has been able to gather the support of more than 100 lawmakers for the new legislation. But Moreland noted success can't be accomplished alone.

"We got a lot of help on this issue, which goes to show how motorcyclists can get things done when we band together," Moreland said. "ABATE of Wisconsin and ABATE of Ohio were particularly helpful."

Participants in the AMA's "Introduction to Washington" seminar also contributed to the effort, as well as members of the Mid-South MILE from Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

Also among those involved in the effort to end health-insurance discrimination are the American Council of Snowmobile Associations, the American Horse Council, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, and the National Ski Areas Association.

Riders and others who want to end this type of insurance discrimination are urged to send letters to their members of Congress asking them to support HR 1749 and S 423. An easy way to do this is to use the AMA Rapid Response Center at www.AMADirectlink.com.

U.S. Representatives Who Support HR 1749:

Neil Abercrombie (D-HI)
Spencer Bachus (R-AL)
Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD)
Bob Beauprez (R-CO)
John Boehner (R-OH)
Mary Bono (R-CA)
Leonard Boswell (D-IA)
Michael Burgess R-TX)
Ken Calvert (R-CA)
Dave Camp (R-MI)
Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.VA)
Julia Carson (D-IN)
Donna Christensen (D-VA)
Tom Cole (R-OK)
Jerry Costello (D-IL)
Danny Davis (D-IL)
Jo Ann Davis (R-VA)
Peter Deutsch (D-FL)
Vernon Ehlers (R-MI)
Lane Evans (D-IL)
Bob Filner (D-CA)
Harold Ford Jr. (D-TN)
Barney Frank (D-MA)
Martin Frost (D-TX)
Virgil Goode Jr. (R-VA)
Bart Gordon (D-TN)
Same Graves (R-MO)
Mark Green (R-WI)
Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)
Melissa Hart (R-PA)
Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)
Tim Holden (D-PA)
Henry Hyde (R-IL)
Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Darrell Issa (R-CA)
Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX)
William Jenkins (R-TN)
Timothy Johnson (R-IL)
Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH)
Walter Jones Jr. (R-NC)
Mark Kennedy (R-MN)
Dale Kildee (D-MI)
Ron Kind (D-WI)
Mark Steven Kirk (R-IL)
Gerald Kleczka (D-WI)
John Kline (R-MN)
Ray LaHood (R-IL)
Tom Latham (R-IA)
Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Ron Lewis (R-KY)
William Lipinski (D-IL)
Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI)
Jim McDermott (D-WA)
Mike McIntyre (D-NC)
Michael Michaud (D-ME)
Candice Miller (R-MI)
Alan Mollohan (D-W.VA)
James Moran (D-VA)
John Murtha (D-PA)
Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO)
Anne Northup (R-KY)
Devin Nunes (R-CA)
James Oberstar (D-MN)
David Obey (D-WI)
Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ)
Donald Payne (D-NJ)
Collin Peterson (D-MN)
Thomas Petri (R-WI)
Todd Russell Platts (R-PA)
Adam Putnam (R-FL)
Nick Rahall (D-W.VA)
Jim Ramstad (R-MN)
Rick Renzi (R-AZ)
Mike Rogers (R-MI)
Bobby Rush (D-IL)
Paul Ryan (R-WI)
Timothy Ryan (D-Ohio)
Linda Sanchez (D-CA)
Bernard Sanders (I-VT)
Janice Schakowsky (D-IL)
F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI)
John Shimkus (R-IL)
Rob Simmons (R-CT)
Ted Strickland (D-OH)
Bart Stupak (D-MI)
John Sweeney (R-NY)
Lee Terry (R-NE)
Patrick Tiberi (R-OH)
Edolphus Towns (D-NY)
Mark Udall (D-CO)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
Greg Walden (R-OR)
James Walsh (R-NY)
Curt Weldon (D-PA)
Jerry Weller (R-IL)
Robert Wexler (D-FL)
Ed Whitfield (R-KY)
Joe Wilson (R-SC)
Frank Wolf (R-VA) and
Don Young (R-AL)

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