2011 Regular Session . May 16, 2011
SB 61 and SB 149 scheduled for hearing in Senate Judiciary A when the committee convenes at 1 p.m., Tuesday, May 17. Contact sponsors of these bills and committee members if you have not already done so.
Immunity for medical and health providers as a constitutional amendment
SB 61 by Sen. Fred Mills Jr. provides for a constitutional amendment that would allow limited liability for medical and health care providers "in all cases" and for "all damages and losses." All provisions of this bill would be retroactive. If passed, this measure would be on the October ballot as a proposed constitutional amendment.
The state constitution should not allow for select classes to escape responsibility by barring other citizens from full access to the courts. This bill carries an ominous danger. Remaking the state constitution to allow one special group no responsibility under the law will certainly lead to others expecting the same privilege. A cap on general damages would not be far behind. Senate Judiciary A will hear this bill Tuesday. View an agenda. Can't attend? Watch live streaming video available from the Legislature's Web portal.
SB 149 by Sen. Dan "Blade" Morrish is grossly unfair to patients/insureds. It would allow ambulance companies, hospitals and health care providers to collect the difference or "balance" between a service fee agreed upon with insurers and the full amount providers charge for that same medical service or procedure. Also, as one LAJ member so aptly explained, this bill would legalize what hospitals, ambulance companies and health care providers have been doing illegally for years. It would allow providers to refuse to accept a patient's health insurance in a liability accident and allow them to use 9:4752 lien statute to collect the full amount from the judgment/settlement. Thus, it steals the patient/insured's right to use their health insurance and prevents them from receiving the full benefit of the reduced contracted reimbursement rate. This bill is scheduled to be heard in Senate Judiciary A on Tuesday. View an agenda. Live streaming video will be available from the Legislature's Web portal.
Tuesday, May 17, is LAJ Legislative Awareness Day at the Capitol
With SB 61 and SB 149 expected to be heard Tuesday, LAJ members are urged to come to Baton Rouge on that day, which also is LAJ Legislative Awareness Day. Come to LAJ offices around 7:30 or 8 a.m. for breakfast and briefing. At 9 a.m. we'll go to the Capitol for committee hearings, followed by lunch with legislators at LAJ offices. Then, we'll return to the Capitol for Senate Judiciary A meeting at 1 p.m. Sign up online or call the LAJ office at 225-383-5554 to let us know you will attend.
View live and archived broadcasts of some legislative committee hearings. Go to Legislature's Web portal to view schedules and instructions on how to tune in. Use this same link to contact your legislators, access information about bills, check committee schedules and more.
The session must adjourn on or before 6 p.m., Thursday, June 23, 2011.