Todd Irons
(202) 973-2927
Suzy DeFrancis
(202) 973-3610

Employers Launch Renewed Advertising Campaign

Ads Thank Senators for Supporting the Right Health Care Reforms

Washington, DC, June 30, 2000 — The Health Benefits Coalition announced today it will launch an advertising campaign during the July 4th recess thanking senators for supporting sensible patient protections while opposing unlimited new lawsuits, such as those in the Dingell-Norwood patients’ bill of rights. The full-page print ads will run in major newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and Washington state.

"Thanks, Senator [NAME], for supporting a patients’ bill of rights that right for [STATE]," reads the ad. "It’s right to improve our health care. It’s right to help the uninsured. It’s right to stand up to special interests like rich trial lawyers who want costly new lawsuits against employers. It’s right to protect businesses and families by supporting employer-sponsored health care and working to ensure that family premiums are affordable."

Contrary to what supporters of the Dingell-Norwood bill claim, the legislation does nothing to protect employers from liability – a fact confirmed by numerous legal analyses of the bill. Employers would be subject to jury trials in state courts and face costly punitive damages, just for providing health coverage to their employees. Rather than face such a risk, many employers would be forced to stop providing health insurance to their workers. Even if employers could effectively be shielded from liability, which the legislation fails to do, they would still have to bear higher costs as health plans fall victim to more trial lawyers’ lawsuits. In many cases, these higher costs will be passed on directly to employees and families.

"Without a doubt, employers will be sued if the Dingell-Norwood bill becomes law," said Dan Danner, chairman of the Health Benefits Coalition. "Trial lawyers will enjoy a litigation lottery under this legislation, with countless new opportunities to haul businesses, both large and small, into court. And while trial lawyers laugh all the way to the bank, families and small businesses will be hurt the most."

A copy of one of the ads is attached.

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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 mandates.