by Gus Breiland
End Recreational Vehicle Medical Coverage Discrimination
US Senator, Susan Collins, (R-ME) introduced S. 577, “The HIPAA Recreational Injury Technical Correction Act.” Last Congress, the full Senate unanimously passed similar legislation. S. 577 aims at ending health care discrimination for individuals participating in legal transportation and recreational activities, activities like motorcycling, snowmobiling, horseback, skiing and ATV 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. In 2001, the Health Care Finance Administration released the final rules that would govern the law.

The rules recognize that employers cannot refuse health care coverage to an employee on the basis of their participation in a recognized recreational activity. However, the benefits can be denied for injuries sustained in connection with those activities. Essentially, the regulation grants equal status to motorcyclists without any substantive benefits.

The AMA is urging all motorcyclists to notify their Senators and tell them to co-sponsor and support S.577, “The HIPAA Recreational Injury Technical Correction Act.”

MMM would also like you to contact your Senators and maybe even leave them a voice mail singing “We’re not gonna take it! No! We ain’t gonna take it!” www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?State=MN

Canucks Take The Fun Out Of TT
After 12 months of planning and organization, with the knowledge and tentative support of the provincial department of tourism as a signature event, the Cape Breton TT Festival of Speed has been cancelled with official news from the Provincial government that the government will not permit the event to happen on the 53km course.

According to the chair of the Cape Breton Festival of Speed Association, “The official word delivered by the province came as a devastating blow and without notice after almost a year of work and official filings for sanctioning and insurance were completed”. She said, “The province has been well aware of the event and designated it as a Signature Event with no indication that they had fundamental issues beyond the understandable need to pass the public safety requirements which were being organized by a professional technical team and race director. It appears that the process of proper and formal evaluation and communications were flawed within the departments.”

Carroll stated, “The cancellation news is regrettable and disappointing for all of the volunteer members of the community who have acted in good faith and invested in the development of an event which promised to deliver significant economic return for the region.”

The Cape Breton Festival of Speed was initiated by the Membertou Development Corporation. Under the leadership of Bernd Christmas, Membertou brought forward the opportunity for an international event which offered benefits for the entire Island and province. The Cape Breton Festival of Speed Association was created to operate and manage what had the potential to be a major annual event.

To date, there have been 5000 room-nights booked 6 months ahead of the event just on the prospect and rumor it would occur. These advance bookings alone represent a welcome addition to many tourism operators across the Island during what is a slower period in the early fall. The economic impact has been forecast to reach $15 million dollars. The event had the support of the municipality and federal government and the economic development agencies on Cape Breton Island, along with enthusiastic participation of community groups and organizations that are essential for the staging of an international event.

The TT Race is an international spectacle attracting audiences and visitor interest across North America and Europe including all of the key strategic markets for the Nova Scotia and Canadian Tourism industry. National and international media have been following the planning for the race and many have committed resources to visit Cape Breton Island to cover both the race and the destination.

Carroll said, “As a community based volunteer organization, we are very disappointed to have to cancel the event. The abrupt decision is being forced by the Provincial government in what can only be described as a very heavy-handed manner. While Premier Rodney MacDonald was Minister of Tourism the event was named as one of the coveted Nova Scotia Signature Events. She ended, “The province allowed the time, effort, expectations and investment of the community to continue to build for the best part of an entire year without a formal response from all departments until now.” Community meetings planned for May 6 and 7 along the race course have been cancelled.

MMM already had operatives planning on attending this event and we are very disappointed that the province is not backing a wonderful event like the TT.  Imagine a TT event within reasonable traveling distance on a beautiful piece of land like Nova Scotia.  We feel any fan of motorcycle racing needs to send the Canadian Governmental Officials a letter conveying their disappointment in the cancelling of the event.

You can reach Premier Rodney MacDonald at www.gov.ns.ca/premier/ and the Nova Scotia Board of Tourism. www.gov.ns.ca/tourism.htm

Drinkin’ in the Name of Science
Think you can hold your liquor better than a frat boy? Are you a male motorcyclist with 5 years or more of riding experience, between the ages of 21 and 50? The University of Minnesota can use your help. Because motorcycle related fatalities have risen and alcohol is a risk factor, the U of M, along with the Minnesota Highway Safety Research Center, are conducting a study to measure the effects of alcohol on riding skills. The study will require volunteers to consume alcohol and then ride an instrumented motorcycle on a test track. You would need to be available for multiple days of testing in July and August for 5-8 hours per day. Volunteers that complete study requirements will be compensated $750. Interested riders should contact the research team at 1-866-421-9843.

You Can Lead A Biker To Water; Ignition Motorsports Can Make Them Think
On the road you only get a few seconds to consider a warning sign.  But
these little beauties come on heavy-duty pulpboard bar coasters.  Under your root beer, next to your sandwich, you’ve got all the time in the world to consider the message.  And they are not the boring DOT versions we’ve all come to know and ignore. These are designed especially for motorcycle riders, with eye-catching visuals in alarming yellow and black to make them THINK.news85

Ignition Motorsports and TP Racing are joining forces in a grassroots public service campaign. Using funds raised by their annual Cornering and Safety Seminar (www.hedonistic-enthusiasm.com), TR Racing will donate 10,000 coasters to bars, restaurants and popular motorcycle stops in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Local volunteers will ensure two-wheeled distribution starting in spring of 2006.

To get your own set of coasters, give them as a gift to someone you care about, or to donate a set to your favorite watering hole, ride the internet super highway over to www.ignitionmoto.com.  Sets of 3 run $2, or packs of 48 are available for $20 including shipping.  Also, get 3 coasters free with any purchase from Ignition Motorsports online store.

M.M.M.

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