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The Business Roundtable Joins Other Employers in Thanking Senator Ashcroft for Supporting Common-Sense Health Care Reforms
Contact: John Schachter

(202) 862-1260
Release Date: 10/05/2000

(Washington, DC) — The Business Roundtable (BRT) today joined Missouri employer groups in thanking Senator John Ashcroft for supporting sensible health care reforms that are right for Missouri families and employers while opposing unlimited health care lawsuits such as those found in the Dingell-Norwood-Kennedy patients’ bill of rights.

“Senator Ashcroft has voted for common-sense health care reforms that protect patients and allow doctors to make medical decisions, but spare employers from unlimited lawsuits that would increase costs and the uninsured,” said Patricia Hanahan Engman, Executive Director of The Business Roundtable. “Thanks to Senator Ashcroft, employers will still be able to voluntarily provide an important benefit to their workers, and employees can count on having the health insurance they need and deserve for themselves and their families.”

The Senate-passed patients’ bill of rights supported by Sen. Ashcroft embraces three critical tenets of health care reform. One, it keeps health care costs down so families and individuals can afford insurance; two, it ensures more people are insured; and three, it allows doctors to make medical decisions. The Kennedy-Dingell-Norwood bill, which was defeated twice in the Senate, would subject employers to costly, unlimited lawsuits that could have severe consequences on the employer-based health care system.

A large majority of insured Americans (160 million people) receive their health coverage from their employers. But if faced with the probability of being hauled into court and subjected to costly damages, many employers would be forced to reevaluate their roles in providing health benefits. Independent surveys have shown that some employers would seriously consider dropping employee health coverage. New health care lawsuits would further burden employers, workers and their families by driving up the cost of health insurance and forcing millions more into the growing ranks of the uninsured. This would come at a time when health care costs are already increasing by as much as 30 percent across the country.

The Business Roundtable has run print and radio advertisements in Missouri thanking Senator Ashcroft for supporting common-sense health care reforms but opposing unlimited lawsuits.

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The Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading corporations with a combined workforce of more than 10 million employees in the United States. The chief executives are committed to advocating public policies that foster vigorous economic growth and a dynamic global economy.

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