Today’s Health Care Check-Up: — January 11, 2000

Democratic Governor and Medical Doctor Opposes New Health Care Mandates and the "Right" to Sue

In his recent State of the State address to the Vermont legislature, Gov. Howard Dean, a medical doctor, warned state legislators not to impose additional mandates on the health care system nor pursue an expanded "right" to sue for fear of driving health care costs even higher:

"State-passed mandates have contributed about 25 percent of this year’s increase in insurance premiums. Many of these I have supported. But this year I ask the Legislature not to pass any additional mandates.

I also ask the Legislature not to enact a legal provision which would allow additional lawsuits against HMOs and employers. Vermont has the strongest patient protection law in the country regarding HMOs, and opening insurance companies and employers to lawsuits will only drive the price of insurance still higher.

We cannot vote on the one hand to expand insurance coverage and increase the cost of liability insurance, and then go out in an election year and point the finger elsewhere for the increase in health care costs."

— Vermont Democratic Governor and medical doctor Howard Dean, 2000 State of the State address, 1/4/00

Congress Should Heed Governor Dean’s Advice.

A "Patients’ Bill of Rights" Should Not Be

A "Lawyer’s Right to Bill."