H.R. 4, the pension bill now in play in the Senate, excludes a provision that could have helped employer-sponsored health plans seek reimbursement from law settlements for care provided for members injured by other parties.
Members of the House-Senate conference committee that was trying to meld H.R. 2830 with S. 1783 dropped the provision at the last minute.
The conference committee has failed to produce a conference report, but the authors of H.R. 4 based that bill on a conference report draft which excluded the “Section 307″ subrogation provision.
Section 307 would have created a new federal cause of action under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
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Section 307 would have permitted health plans seeking reimbursement for expenditures on tort victims to come in ahead both of the victims and their lawyers.
Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., the most senior Democrat on the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions committee, and some other conferees strongly opposed Section 307.
Kennedy called Section 307 a “special interest fix” that would have allowed insurers to “raid” settlement funds meant for injured workers.