Senate Republicans cast their votes against Kennedy/Dingell in 1999 for three reasons:
1. We do not want to contribute to the growing ranks of the uninsured.
2. We do not want to dramatically increase costs.
3. We do not want to put a layer of federal bureaucracy (the Health Care Finance Administration) between patients and doctors.
Since that debate:
1. Census Bureau Statistics show that the number of uninsured Americans increased in 1998 from 43 million to 44 million.
2. Health care costs are rising, as predicted, by double digit margins for the first time in several years. Even the Democrat Governor of Vermont was compelled in his State of the State address to beg the legislature not to send him any more health care mandates, blaming mandates for 25 percent of the cost increase.
3. The nonpartisan General Accounting Office issued a report illustrating HCFA's inability to enforce the 1996-passed Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA contained only a handful of requirements, as opposed to the numerous new requirements HCFA would have to enforce under proposed Patients Bill of Rights legislation.