***To read Dave Breakiron's letter to Sen. Simpson, click HERE***
***Delaware Freedom Riders suggestions on what we can do, click HERE***
***Please remember to include your return email address should you decide to email your Senator, and also include that you are a member of ABATE of Delaware, Inc. with the website address of: http://abateofde.com***
MAY 26, 2007
Take a moment to call, write, or FAX Senators Carper and Biden urging them to cosponsor and support Senate Bill 616. Did you know that you could be refused health care coverage simply because you were injured on a motorcycle?
A sample letter is produced below.
Senator Thomas R. Carper
513 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
221 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
I live and ride in Delaware, and I am urging you to support motorcyclists by co-sponsoring S. 616, "The HIPAA Recreational Injury Technical Correction Act.”
U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) recently introduced S. 616, "The HIPAA Recreational Injury Technical Correction Act.” Identical legislation passed the full Senate in the 108th Congress and obtained 177 bipartisan cosponsors in the House.
S. 616 aims at ending health care discrimination for individuals participating in legal transportation and recreational activities-activities like motorcycling, snowmobiling, skiing, 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.
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 !
This legislation will fix the loophole for people like me in your state! Please cosponsor and support S. 616.
(Your Name and Contact Information)
Monday, May 7, 2007
Why We Should Never Sink into Complacency and Should be Ever Vigilant
On Friday, 3/23/2007, something happened which confirmed our wariness of the goings-on in the Delaware General Assembly. It confirms that we must be ever-vigilant in our monitoring of Senate Bill 46.
As you all know, this bill is with the Senate Safety Committee. There are quite a few people that are monitoring the meeting schedules so that we will know if and when this bill is being considered in committee.
As of the morning of Friday, 3/23/2007, there were no Public Safety Committee meetings scheduled. As late as 10:00 A.M., the status had not changed. However, when we checked the site at approximately 2:00 P.M., lo and behold, there was a meeting of the committee scheduled for 3:00 PM that day ! S.B. 46 was not on their agenda, but it could have been.
This prompted me to write my Senator, who happens to be a member of the Safety Committee, as well as the Webmaster of the General Assembly website.
We need to know in a timely manner when bills are being considered.
Question: If S.B. 46 had been on the agenda, what would we have done? Is there an action plan?
I fear that we will be caught off guard. We should not be sitting and hoping that Senate Bill 46 “never comes up”.
We should be acting as if it already has.
What is the plan?
Senate Committee Meeting Schedule:
Letter to Senator Cloutier:
Dear Senator Cloutier,
I am not quite sure where to direct my inquiry, as I am not certain where the issue may lie. I am copying the Webmaster of the State website on this e-mail.
My concern is about the timeliness of information posted on the General Assembly section of the State of Delaware website ( http://www.legis.state.de.us/LEGISLATURE.NSF?open). I am a daily visitor to this site in order to keep up-to-date on legislation of interest to me.
My specific issue is that as of this morning, Friday, 3/23/2007, the Senate Public Safety Committee had no hearings scheduled. This afternoon, I happened to revisit the meeting schedule site ( http://www.legis.state.de.us/LIS/lis144.nsf/Senate+Meeting+Notice/?openview&count=50&nav=mtgs) and saw that a meeting of this committee was scheduled for 3:00 this afternoon.
My concern is that there was virtually no notice of this hearing in advance which would offer no one who had an interest in the agenda item to attend the meeting.
I do not know what procedures are in place for the timely posting of information, but in the interest of open and transparent government I find it somewhat disheartening, if not disturbing. I am not blaming anyone, I would just like to know where to direct further inquiries so that this does not occur in the future.
It may be an internal procedure within the General Assembly, or it could be a communication issue between the General Assembly and the website administrators. As an Information Services professional, I have seen this happen. It is of special concern when the General Assembly website does not provide timely information, for whatever reason.
The bottom line is that there is a flaw in the process of posting timely information.
I would like to find out where this flaw is and what can be done about it.
Your feedback is appreciated.
As of March 22, 2007 9:26am
S.B. 46 has been amended and placed with the Senate. The Public Safety Committee appears to have not officially "met" on the bill. It has been "laid with the Senate".
In reviewing the Amendment to S.B. 46, it MAY be that it can STILL BE HEARD in the Safety Committee.
DOVER — Motorcyclists would be required to wear helmets
for the first time since the 1970s under legislation introduced today in the
Since 1978, the state has not required most cyclists to wear helmets, although they are required to carry a helmet.
But Sen. Gary Simpson, R-Milford, wants to change that. Senate Bill 46 would require all cyclists and their passengers to wear a safety helmet and eye protection.
“It seems nonsensical to me that we require people to carry a helmet but not to use it,” Simpson said. “If you’re riding a motorcycle at a high rate of speed and fall off, you’re either going to be dead or have a bad head injury ... This is simply something that makes sense.”
Rep. Bruce Ennis, D-Smyrna, tried unsucessfully in the 1980s to change the law. Ennis did get the state’s current motorcycle safety training rules on the books.
“It’s going to be a real fight, I can tell you that,” he said.
Sen. Simpson & Rep. Maier
DELAWARE STATE SENATE
144th GENERAL ASSEMBLY
SENATE BILL NO. 46
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO MOTORCYCLE SAFETY HELMETS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each house thereof concurring therein):
Section 1. Amend §4185(b), Title 21, Delaware Code, by deleting it in its entirety and by inserting in lieu thereof the following:
“(b) Every person operating or riding on a motorcycle shall wear a safety helmet and eye protection approved by the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security through the Office of Highway Safety”.
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