Letter to House Tri-Committee Re: Whistleblower Protections

July 6, 2009

Honorable Henry Waxman, Chairman
Joseph Barton, Ranking Member
Energyand Commerce Committee

Honorable Charles Rangel, Chairman
David Camp, Ranking Member
Ways and Means Committee

Honorable George Miller, Chairman
John Kline, Ranking Member
Education and Labor Committee

U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C, 20510

Dear Chairmen Miller, Rangel and Waxman:

Our organizations write to request that you include best practices whistleblower protection for private sector healthcare workers who challenge fraud, waste, abuse, or violations of the standards and controls in this landmark health care legislation. They expand the scope of provisions in the discussion draft for narrower groups of workers such as employees of skilled nursing home facilities.

Since 2006 Congress has enacted or strengthened that cornerstone for accountability in six laws. They include consumer product manufacturing and retail commerce, railroads, the trucking industry, metropolitan transit systems, defense contractors, and all entities receiving stimulus funds.

Whistleblowers will be indispensible as the best resource that exists against fraud and other institutional misconduct. When recently surveyed by Price Waterhouse, more than 5,000 CEO’s throughout the world reported that whistleblowers are more effective in detecting fraud than internal compliance offices, auditors and law enforcement agencies combined.

Of course, the need for whistleblowers hardly stops with cost control. The most significant concern is the quality and safety of patient care. Protecting whistleblowers in the medical industry has more life and death consequences than in any other industry. It is not realistic to expect that doctors, nurses andother providers will defend medical consumers when needed, however, if they cannot defend themselves against retaliation.

Our organizations deeply appreciate your consideration of this request. We will provide any available support that your offices need to help include this safety and accountability cornerstone in final legislation.


Tom Devine
Legal Director
Government Accountability Project

Michael R. McCray, Esq.
The 357 Commission

Gil Mileikowsky, M.D.
Alliance For Patient Safety

Jacqueline Brandwynne
Brandwynne Corporation

Lawrence S. Ottinger
Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest

Lokesh B Vuyyuru, M.D.
Concerned Citizens of Petersburg

DeAnn Friedholm
Director of Health Reform Campaign
Consumers Union

Elizabeth Combier

David B. Nolan, Esq.
Federal Ethics Center

Andrew D. Jackson
Deputy Coordinator
Focus On Indiana

Gwen Marshall
Georgians for Open Government

Roberta Mikles, RN BA
Health Care Patient Advocates

James J. Murtagh Jr., M.D.
International Association of Whistleblowers (IAW)

Josephine Cicchini
Founder, Chairperson of the Board

Jonathon Moseley
Executive Director
Legal Affairs Council

John McBride
"MCS" Beacon Of Hope Foundation's New Jersey Chapter

Zena D. Crenshaw
Executive Director
National Judicial Conduct and Disability Law Project, Inc.

Angel De Fazio
National Toxic Encephalopathy Foundation

Stephen Kohn
National Whistleblowers Center

Lewis Maltby
National Workrights Institute

Ron Marshall
New Grady Coalition

Patrice McDermott

Joseph Carson, PE
OSC Watch

Ashley Katz
Executive Director
Patient Privacy Rights

Dale Nathan, Board President
POPULAR, Inc. (Power Over Poverty Under Laws of America Restored)

Lisa Lavine Nagy M.D.
Preventive and Environmental HealthAlliance Inc. (PEHA)

Danielle Brian
Executive Director
Project on Government Oversight

Angela Canterbury
Advocacy Director of Congress Watch Division

Jennifer Dingman
PULSE America

Blake Moore
Semmelweis Society International (SSI)

Denny Dobbin
Society for Occupational and Environmental Health (SOEH)

George Stokes
Texas State Client Council, Abilene Division

Dane vonBreichenruchardt
U.S. Bill of Rights Foundation