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.
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.