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Senate Democrats Bring Back Failed "KennedyCare" Bill
Ignore Public Concerns Over Cost and Coverage

82% of Americans say Congress should make sure "more people have access to affordable health care" rather than pass "tougher regulations on HMOs."

Washington, DC, January 19, 1999 - While the public shows increasing concern with rising health care costs and the growing number of uninsured, Senate Democrats today re-introduced KennedyCare-a bill that would cost working families $200 a year more in added health care costs and force nearly 2 million more Americans into the ranks of the uninsured.

"The Kennedy bill of rights is wrong for America," said Dan Danner, chairman of the Health Benefits Coalition, which represents more than 3 million employers. "KennedyCare will increase costs, reduce coverage and put employers at risk of costly lawsuits that could bankrupt their business. The Senate was right to reject it last year, and employers will work hard to defeat it again this year."

The Kennedy Patients' Bill of Rights is the most costly, big government health care bill since ClintonCare. If passed, it would result in:

  • 359 new federal mandates
  • 59 new sets of federal regulations
  • 3,828 new federal bureaucrats
  • 56 new kinds of lawsuits estimated to increase health care premiums as much as 8.6 percentūresulting in nearly 2 million more uninsured next year alone
  • $200 a year in added health care costs for families, at a time when costs are already rising

Sources: Multinational Business Services, Inc. June 1998

Barents Group of KPMG Peat Marwick, 1998

Congressional Budget Office, 1998

A new poll conducted last week by Public Opinion Strategies found that 45% of people who initially favored the description of an HMO patients bill of rights, say they would then oppose this legislation if "it will raise the cost of everyone's health insurance by roughly $200 a year." This is consistent with findings from a Kaiser/Harvard survey last year showing support for consumer "protections" dropping from 78 percent to 40 percent when people were told that it could raise the cost of a typical family's health insurance policy by $200 per year. (Kaiser/Harvard Survey of Americans' Views on the Consumer Protection Debate, Aug.6-Aug.20, 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 mandates.