New Proposals to ABA House of Delegates Would Support Universal Health Care Access, Improved Regulation of Financial Markets

Other Measures Urge Foreclosure Mediation, Oppose Some Patents

CHICAGO, July 30, 2009—A proposal to support federal legislation ensuring universal access to quality health care for Americans may be added to the agenda of the _ House of Delegates, to convene in Chicago Monday and Tuesday.
A second newly filed report would support federal laws to improve regulation of U.S. financial institutions and markets, and subject similar consumer financial products and services to equivalent regulation regardless of the charter or legal structure of the institutions providing them.  Those are among a series of policies that would be supported if the report is adopted.
These and other proposals will be considered when the House of Delegates meets to vote on a range of policy issues next week, including one supporting repeal of a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act to allow all lawfully married same sex spouses access to federal marital benefits including Medicaid, Social Security survivor benefits and filing joint income tax returns.  The proposal neither supports nor opposes civil marriage for same-sex couples, say ABA proponents, but would ensure that state decisions on whether to recognize such marriages are given deference under federal laws and programs.
Most proposals pending House consideration are accessible here.  Those that were filed after the House deadline, but that may be formally added to the agenda this weekend, are accessible here.  To review any individual policy and supporting report, click on the report number.  No proposal constitutes association policy unless and until the House of Delegates adopts it.  Some offerings may be withdrawn, while other measures can be submitted up until Sunday afternoon.  Any measure can be amended until it is taken to a vote
Other late-filed proposals would support federal and state legislation to use mediation to help resolve disputes that could lead to foreclosure of mortgages on residential real estate, and pending foreclosure cases, and would oppose patentability for abstract ideas, laws of nature of physical phenomena.  Consideration of the patent issue is prompted, say proponents, by a case pending before the Supreme Court of the United States containing 11 claims for patents involving a process of hedging risks in commodity pricing.  The case is Bilski et al, v. Doll.

With more than 400,000 members, the _ is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world.  As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

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