FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Suzy DeFrancis
"HEALTH CARE COSTS ARE RISING...DON'T MAKE IT WORSE"
New Ads Launched vs. Patient "Protection" Bills
Washington, DC, February 12, 1999 - Faced with already rising
health care costs, employers are speaking out against federal legislation
- such as the Kennedy-Dingell Patients' Bill of Rights - that would raise
costs even more for businesses and their employees. Business owners
nationwide are featured in new radio ads running during the February
congressional recess as part of the Health Benefits Coalition's ongoing
efforts to educate Congress and the public about the unintended
consequences of big-government mandates on America's health care system.
"These are real people, with real concerns," stated Dan Danner,
chairman of the Health Benefits Coalition. "Employers, who voluntarily
provide health care coverage, are worried that they and their employees
will be priced-out of health insurance if Washington passes costly new
mandates this year."
"Our insurance costs already went up this year. That made it even
harder to provide coverage for my employees. I'm not asking for Congress'
help. But the least they can do is not make things worse," states an
employer in one ad.
U.S. employers face a predicted 7-10% rise in health care costs in 1999
- nearly three times as much as 1998 and the biggest increase in seven
years (William Mercer, Inc.). For small businesses the impact is even
greater - in some cases increases of 20% or more. Federal mandates on top
of these increases - plus the threat of being sued for medical malpractice
- would make it impossible for many businesses to offer coverage, or for
many employees to afford it.
The radio ads point to further cost increases resulting from the
Kennedy-Dingell bill, "There's a new bill in Congress - Ted Kennedy's
Patients' Bill of Rights. No, it won't provide insurance to 43 million
uninsured Americans. No, it won't make insurance cheaper. Instead, it
increases costs by more than $200 per family and leaves two million more
"With three out of four working Americans receiving their health care
coverage through their employers, the last thing Congress should do is
pass legislation that drives up health care costs even more - threatening
America's employer-based health care system," stated Danner.
Ads will be running in the following media markets: Cincinnati,
Memphis, Tampa-St. Pete, Richmond, Wilmington and Lafayette, LA.
# # #
"THE LEAST THEY CAN DO"
(with music sting and music under)
SBO: I’m Steve Lippert. Ever since my great-grandfather started
Hamilton Caster in Hamilton, Ohio, we’ve tried to treat our employees like
family. Take health insurance. I’d never risk my family’s health without
insurance, and our employees deserve the same. So, we provide coverage,
despite the high cost. But now, some in Washington want to make it even
ANNCR: There’s a new bill in Congress —Ted Kennedy’s Patients Bill of
Rights. No, it won’t provide insurance for 43 million uninsured Americans.
No, it won’t make insurance cheaper. Instead, it increases costs by more
than $200 per family* and leaves two million more people
SBO: Our insurance costs already went up this year. That made it even
harder to provide coverage for our employees. We’re not asking for
Congress’ help. But the least they can do is not make things worse.
ANNCR: If you think health insurance already costs too much, call
Congress today at 1-800-384-7023 and tell them to vote against the Kennedy
Paid for by The Health Benefits Coalition
*Towers Perrin – Average 1999 health care costs per family is
CBO – analysis of the Kennedy-Dingell Patients’ Bill of Rights
estimates a 4% annual increase
**The Barents Group, 1998
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