For the second summer in a row, Congress will consider removing a bar to state lawsuits against health maintenance organizations for wrongfully delaying or denying health care benefits, a bar that plaintiffs’ lawyers have been trying to overcome in the courts in recent years.

Health care legislation introduced last week by House Republicans does not include such a change, but Democrats in both houses, and several House Republicans, are expected to push hard for a lifting of this prohibition, which stems from a pre-emption provision in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

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