Contact: Renae Wagner
(202 973-1376

Employers to Congress: First, Do No Harm

New Advertising Calls on Congress to Carefully Examine the Harmful Side Effects of a Patients' Bill of Rights

Washington, DC, January 6, 1999 - The Health Benefits Coalition announced today that it is running a new print ad that asks Congress to oppose any health care legislation that would increase costs and force millions more Americans into the ranks of the uninsured. The ad coincides with the swearing-in of new members and comes in anticipation of a strong push by President Clinton and congressional Democrats to revive their failed Patients' Bill of Rights (H.R. 3605/ S.1890) early in the 106th Congress - which they claim will be a top priority.

The ad, which is running in Roll Call, The Hill and The Washington Times, warns of the harmful side effects of a Patients' Bill of Rights and uses expanded liability as an example of how one provision alone will add substantially to costs and the number of uninsured. The liability provision is estimated to increase premiums by 8.6% and force nearly two million more people to lose their health coverage (The Barents Group, 1998).

"When the new Congress takes its oath, members should pledge to do no harm and to not pass a health care 'reform' bill which will increase costs for families, drive up the number of uninsured and do more harm than good to our health care system," said Dan Danner, chairman of the Health Benefits Coalition.

In addition to expanded liability, the ad alerts Congress of the dangers of going too far, too fast with too much government involvement - especially at a time when health care costs are on the rise and the number of uninsured is passing 43 million.

The Health Benefits Coalition was very active in opposing health care mandates in the 105th Congress and has pledged to continue its efforts to educate Congress and all Americans about the harmful consequences of health care mandates in 1999.


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.