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New Ads Thank Senators For The "Right" Vote On A Patients' Bill Of Rights
Contact: Johanna Schneider

Release Date: 05/17/2000

Washington, DC - The Business Roundtable (BRT) today announced a new wave of advertising, thanking Senators in seven states who supported a patients' bill of rights that focuses on health care - not lawsuits. The full-page print ads are part of a larger effort to encourage Congress to focus on the "right" kind of health care reforms, not legislation that would expose employers to costly new health care lawsuits, putting the health coverage of millions of Americans in jeopardy.

The ads - which will be running in Delaware, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Washington - commend Senators who voted for improved care, more coverage and doctors making medical decisions. Unlike the House-passed Dingell-Norwood legislation, the Senate-passed Patients' Bill of Rights (S.1344) strikes a balance between the concerns of consumers and the employers who voluntarily provide 160 million Americans with health insurance.

"Employers play a crucial role in ensuring that millions of Americans receive health benefits. They should not be punished for voluntarily providing health coverage by being the target of a lawsuit," said Lewis B. Campbell, chairman and CEO of Textron Inc. and chairman of the BRT's Health and Retirement Task Force. "We urge the conference committee considering patients' rights legislation to follow these Senators' lead by focusing on reforms that help employers, employees and their families obtain and maintain health insurance."

If enacted, the liability provisions contained in the Dingell-Norwood bill would open employers up to runaway lawsuits - leaving many employers with no other choice but to pass the additional costs on to their employees, reduce coverage or stop providing health benefits altogether.

The print ads thank the Senators for, "making sure doctors make the medical decisions and for giving us easier access to emergency rooms and medical specialists for watching the costs and helping the 44 million Americans who don't even have insurance." They go on to say, "It's right to stand up to special interests. Like those rich trial lawyers who want costly new lawsuits against employers. It's right to protect businesses and families. By supporting employer-sponsored health care and working to ensure that family premiums are kept affordable."

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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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2001 The Business Roundtable