FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Renae Newmiller
Boehner Joins Employers In Fight To Preserve Health Benefits For
Working FamiliesGroup Warns Expanded Liability Threatens
Employer-Based Health Care
Washington, DC, September 15, 1999 Employers large and
small joined with Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) today to oppose the
Dingell-Norwood bill (H.R. 2723) and all legislation that would expose
employers to lawsuits over health benefits decisions and coverage. The
Health Benefits Coalition also unveiled a letter with the names of more
than 100 major companies opposed to expanded health care liability.
"Were here as employers who voluntarily offer health benefits to our
employees and want to continue to do so," stated Dan Danner, chairman of
the Health Benefits Coalition. "But Congress needs to understand that
exposing employers to health care liability would drastically affect our
ability to offer affordable, quality care leading to millions more
Rep. Boehner, chairman of the Education and the Workforce subcommittee
on Employer-Employee Relations, pointed to the fact that more than 124
million Americans receive their health coverage through their employer
and current proposals before Congress pose a direct threat to the health
benefits of these workers. He stressed that Congress should be making it
easier for these employers to provide benefits to their employees, not
exposing them to costly lawsuits.
Johanna Schneider of The Business Roundtable referenced a new study on
the liability provisions in the Dingell-Norwood legislation. "This study
clearly shows that if this bill passes, employers of all sizes who offer
health coverage will be at risk. Also at risk will be the millions of
Americans who will be forced to join the already growing number of
uninsured," she stated. The study was prepared by the law firm Schnader
Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP.
Employers from around the country are warning Congress that if exposed
to medical malpractice lawsuits they would have no other choice but to
reduce benefits, increase premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, or
eliminate coverage entirely. According to one poll, 57 percent of small
businesses would drop health coverage for their employers rather than be
exposed to new lawsuits.
"The threat of expanded liability would make it impossible for many
businesses to provide coverage, or for many employees to afford it,"
stated Lisa Rickard of Ryder System, Inc. "The Dingell-Norwood bill would
be devastating to American businesses large and small."
# # #
The Health Benefits Coalition is a broad-based
organization representing three million employers providing health care
coverage to more than 100 million employees and families. The coalition
believes affordable, quality health care is best achieved through broader
coverage, choice and competition in the marketplace -not government