Contact: Suzy DeFrancis
(202) 973-3610
Renae Wagner
(202 973-1376

Republican Health Care Bill Can Cause Harmful Side Effects

New poll shows public is more concerned with increased costs and reduced coverage than passing "tougher regulations on HMOs"

Washington, DC, January 22, 1999 - The Senate Republican "Patients' Bill of Rights" is a well-intended effort that could have serious unintended consequences for millions of Americans. While it avoids the more costly, big government excesses of the Democrats' bill, it still contains mandates that will only increase health care costs and force many families and businesses to choose between higher health care premiums or dropping insurance altogether.

A recent poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies finds eight out of ten Americans believe the current health care system is meeting their needs, and Congress should make sure "more people have access to affordable health care," (82%) rather than making sure that "there are tougher regulations on HMOs" (14%). Fifty percent (50%) say Congress should make sure "it does not pass any legislation that would raise the cost of insurance premiums which could force many Americans and small businesses to drop their health coverage."

"With health care costs on the rise, and the number of uninsured growing, we hope Senate Republicans will not compound these problems but instead work with us to shape health care reforms that help more Americans afford quality health care coverage."


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.