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Copyright 2000 The New York Times Company  
The New York Times

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May 5, 2000, Friday, Late Edition - Final

SECTION: Section A; Page 26; Column 6; Editorial Desk 

LENGTH: 149 words

HEADLINE: Patient Rights Iceberg


To the Editor:

Re "The Impact of Health Care Reviews" (editorial, May 1), warning about the agreement by Congressional conferees on external review, a key component of the patients' bill of rights: As you point out, "the agreement ducks the issue of costs," but external review is just the tip of the iceberg.

If Congress passes a patients' bill of rights that allows people to sue their health maintenance organizations and their employers (which the House version would do), it will cost the health care system even more. Premiums will increase as health plans pass along to employers and employees the costs of protecting themselves against lawsuits.

Worse, more Americans will lose their insurance as employers are forced to drop benefits for fear of lawsuits that could bankrupt their businesses.
Chmn., Health Benefits Coalition
Washington, May 3, 2000

LOAD-DATE: May 5, 2000

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