FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Renae Newmiller
Employers Launch Major Advertising Blitz To Oppose New Health Care
Mandates And Lawsuits
Washington, DC, June 16, 1999 – As patients’ rights legislation
begins to move through the House committee process, the Health Benefits
Coalition launched a major advertising blitz today that uses print, radio
and TV ads to warn Congress about the costly consequences of health care
mandates and expanded liability. The ads point to concerns employers have
with legislation – such as the Kennedy-Dingell patients’ bill of rights –
that would lead to higher health care costs, more uninsured Americans and
an onslaught of costly lawsuits. (Ads attached -- ad 1 and ad 2.)
Of special concern to employers is a liability provision in some bills
that would put health plans – and the employers who sponsor them – at risk
of being sued for medical malpractice. These bills would line the pockets
of wealthy trial lawyers instead of helping patients get the care they
need – when they need it. The costs of expanded liability would be passed
on to employers, employees and their families.
"Twenty-one states and the president’s own hand-picked health care
commission rejected exposing employers and health plans to costly new
lawsuits," said Dan Danner, chairman of the Health Benefits Coalition.
"The only people who still think this is a good idea are the trial lawyers
and their allies in Congress."
The ads are based on a recent study by the non-partisan Congressional
Budget Office (CBO) that said the Kennedy-Dingell bill will have a
"significant effect on costs," increasing health care premiums by 6.1
percent and adding $56 billion more in mandates on the private sector over
the next four years. This translates into $350 more for family coverage
and would result in nearly two million more uninsured.
"America’s business owners are already struggling with rising health
care costs. More mandates on top of this, plus the threat of new lawsuits,
will drive those costs even higher, forcing millions more into the ranks
of the uninsured and seriously jeopardizing the future of
employer-sponsored health care," stated Danner.
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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