FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 19, 1999
United States House of Representatives
On behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business
federation, representing more than three million businesses and
organizations of every size, sector and region, we strongly urge you to
refrain from cosponsoring the "Access to Quality Care Act" (H.R. 216)
recently introduced by Rep. Charles Norwood (R-GA).
Similar to last year’s "Patient Access to Responsible Care Act"
(PARCA), the bill would impose hundreds of new federal regulations and
open the door for trial lawyers to file frivolous suits against health
plans and employers. With the number of uninsured on the rise, we cannot
afford these types of reforms which will undoubtedly continue to drive up
the cost of health care and drive employers away from providing health
coverage for their employees.
Alternatively, we urge you to stay focused on measures that will help
control costs and allow more people to purchase quality, affordable health
coverage by allowing individuals, including the self-employed, to deduct
100 percent of their health care costs, and passing the Employer
Portability and Health Insurance Act (EPHIC), introduced in the last
Congress. The EPHIC bill would allow small businesses to pool together to
purchase health care more efficiently.
Again, we urge you to refrain from cosponsoring the "Access to Quality
Care Act" and other similar health care bills that will increase costs and
drive more people into the ranks of the uninsured.
R. Bruce Josten