Contacts: Suzy DeFrancis
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As health care costs rise, President Clinton and Vice President Gore rally around a patients’ bill of rights – that sticks you with the bill!

Washington, DC, April 8, 1999 – At a time when families and businesses are already experiencing a significant rise in health care costs, President Clinton and Vice President Gore are rallying tomorrow around the Kennedy-Dingell Patients’ Bill of Rights – a bill that will increase costs on working families and drive up the number of uninsured. In fact, the Kennedy-Dingell bill is the most costly, big government health care bill since Clinton’s own health care plan that was rejected by the American people in 1994.

President Clinton dismisses the costs of the Patients’ Bill of Rights as "a smidgen more inflation." But, it has been estimated that the Kennedy-Dingell bill will raise health care costs by more than $200 per family and could force another 2 million Americans into the ranks of the uninsured (sources: Congressional Budget Office, Towers Perrin, and The Barents Group). Likely to be hardest hit are lower income workers in small companies, the very place where the number of uninsured is already too high.

"Health care is becoming the most expensive item in the family budget. To hard working Americans who are already struggling, any increase in these costs is no smidgen – especially one with a $200 price tag," stated Dan Danner, chairman of the Health Benefits Coalition. "This legislation goes far beyond what even Clinton’s own health care commission recommended – especially by opening the door to more lawsuits. This helps trial lawyers who pocket most of the money, but does nothing to help patients get proper care when needed."

A study by the Barents Group found that the liability provision alone in Kennedy-Dingell bill could raise premiums by as much as 8.6%. Most businesses would be forced to pass the costs on to their employees or drop coverage all together. In fact, 57% percent of small businesses said they would drop coverage if exposed to expanded liability (Public Opinion Strategies).

The Health Benefits Coalition is currently running a new TV ad as part of a major, nationwide grassroots and media campaign calling on Congress to oppose bills, such as the Kennedy-Dingell bill, that result in increased health care costs and more uninsured.


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 mandates.