FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Suzy DeFrancis
CLINTON-GORE THINK YOU SHOULD PAY MORE
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
"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
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