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[Return]1999 Releases
September 1999

CONTACT: Frank Coleman

Thursday, September 23, 1999Chamber: Boehner Bill Moves Health Care Reform In Right Direction For Business

WASHINGTON -- The United States Chamber of Commerce today called a health care reform proposal offered by Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) a reasoned approach to health care reform that improves quality of care and expands access to coverage for the 25 million uninsured who work for small businesses.

The nation’s leading business organization contrasted Boehner’s efforts with several other Congressional health care proposals that would saddle business with costly new mandates and expanded liability, accelerating the numbers of uninsured Americans.

"This proposal goes a long way to addressing the concerns of both employees and employers about quality of care, access and affordability without costly mandates and new lawsuits," Chamber Executive Vice President Bruce Josten said.

Chamber Challenges AMA to Support Medical Malpractice Reform

"In fact, this is the only major initiative that has included the crucial medical malpractice liability reform," Josten added. "This has been a major priority for both doctors and businesses who are truly interested in real reform. Unfortunately, the recent debate has focused on adding more lawsuits instead of fixing the existing liability system. The American Medical Association needs to step up to the plate and get behind doctors’ number priority – medical malpractice reform. This bill does just that."

The Chamber also applauded Boehner’s effort to improve access to health care for small businesses and their employees by allowing pooled purchasing. "Given that the majority of employees work for small businesses today and health benefits are workers’ number one priority, it’s unbelievable Congress hasn’t enacted this market-based reform sooner," Josten said.

The Boehner provisions on binding external review ensure that patients get the most appropriate care -- when they need it, not after months and years of litigation, Josten noted, concluding, "We look forward to reviewing the full details of this proposal and working with the Congress to make these needed changes to our health care system."

The Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.



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