"Dingell-Norwood is the name of the Congressional health battlefield of
the moment. It’s flying under the banner of a bipartisan "patients’
rights" bill. We use "patients’ rights" advisedly because the popular bill
isn’t really about patients’ rights. It’s about lawsuits.
"Dingell-Norwood would make a million lawsuits possible overnight,
dumping into state courts all aspects of a health plan, right down to
payment issues. The bill would also open the door to similar suits
against employers. Given that every lawsuit would be over
allegations of health care denied, we’re talking about a piece of
legislation intended to put the plaintiffs lawyers in pig heaven. And they
"If Dingell-Norwood ever made it out to the real world, its primary
effect would be to produce premium increases as carriers pass along the
costs of litigation to the employers who buy insurance for their workers.
And when those premiums increase, the customers gradually stop buying
"The destructive effects and cynical opportunism of these tort
expansions is by now so obvious that one might expect Republicans to be
happy for the opportunity to oppose them. But in fact, 21 Republican
members of the House have signed on to Dingell-Norwood. This week,
two Republican Congressmen, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and John Shadegg of
Arizona, are set to introduce another bill which also greatly expands
liability, albeit in a different manner.
"Managed care, for all its growing pains, was a direct response to the
health care system’s unacceptably destructive upward cost spiral.
Dingell-Norwood would re-energize the spiral…"
Oppose New Health Care Lawsuits.
They Won’t Improve Patient Care – But They Will Make Care
Less Affordable and Less Available for Families.