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Kennedy-Dingell Bill has "significant effect on costs," says CBO

New ad points to Kennedy Care’s costly impact on families

Washington, DC, April 29, 1999 – In light of the revised estimates released Monday by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Health Benefits Coalition is running a new ad in today’s Roll Call, warning that the Kennedy-Dingell Patients’ Bill of Rights would raise health care costs by $350 more for family coverage and increase the number of uninsured Americans by nearly 2 million. Polls show support for a patients’ bill of rights drops dramatically once the public learns its impact on costs and coverage.

"Can families in your state afford higher health care costs?" questions the ad. "It’s more bad news for American families, at a time when health costs are already on the rise and the number of uninsured is already growing." (Ad attached)

CBO said the Kennedy-Dingell bill would increase premiums by 6.1 percent - a 50 percent increase over its last estimate of 4.1 percent nine months ago. According to CBO, the Kennedy-Dingell bill will have "a significant effect on the costs of private insurance." Additionally, the private sector mandates in Kennedy-Dingell would total nearly $56 billion over the 2000-2004 period.

"Hard-working Americans shouldn’t have to pay for the consequences of big-government mandates," stated Dan Danner, chairman of the Health Benefits Coalition. "The Kennedy-Dingell bill would force families and businesses to pay much more— taking us back to the days of double digit increases in health care premiums."

U.S. employers already face a predicted increase of 9% 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 increase may be even more severe— as much as 20 percent or more. Federal mandates on top of these predicted increases could make health insurance too expensive for many employers to provide— or too costly for employees to afford.

"Families and employers are already struggling with rising health care costs," said Danner. "Congress should oppose any legislation that raises costs on American families and forces millions more into the ranks of the 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 mandates.