FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Renae Newmiller
"Trial Lawyers or Families and Businesses?
Whose Side Are You
Ads warn public what's "wrong" with the
Patients' Bill of "Rights"
Washington, DC, August 30, 1999 - With Congress expected to
vote on patients' rights legislation in September, the Health Benefits
Coalition, which represents more than three million employers, announced
today it will run new radio and TV ads in media markets across the country
to warn American families and businesses about the high price they will
have to pay for the Dingell-Norwood bill (H.R. 2723).
"This news just in from Washington ... and it looks like bad news for
people in [STATE]. Congressman [NAME] is about to vote for a bill that
will increase health insurance premiums for your family," state the radio
ads. "It's called a Patients' Bill of Rights, but there's a whole lot
wrong with it. It won't provide insurance if you don't have any - or even
make it easier to afford. Instead, it raises premiums for every family -
and leaves many without any insurance at all." (Radio Ad, TV Ad attached.)
"Any member of Congress who signs onto this bill will be turning his or
her back on working families who already pay a lot for health care and
employers who already pay a lot to voluntarily provide health benefits to
their employees," said Dan Danner, chairman of the Health Benefits
Coalition. "A vote for Dingell-Norwood is a vote to end private
employer-sponsored health care as we know it and replace it with
big-government health care." The Dingell-Norwood bill is supported by
advocates of government-run health care including Rep. John Dingell (D-MI)
and President Clinton, who tried to pass his own version of nationalized
health care in 1994 but was soundly rejected by the American people.
Many private employers - especially small business owners - would be
forced to stop providing health benefits to their employees rather than
risk being sued for medical malpractice under the Dingell-Norwood bill.
These suits could take place in state courts where damages are often
unlimited and frequently out of control. Interestingly, the bill only lets
you sue private health plans - not those provided by the federal
"So, trial lawyers get rich and happy. And families and businesses pay
the price," states the radio ad. "Congressman [NAME], whose side are you
"Hopefully, members of Congress will stand up for the people who work
hard to provide health care benefits - not government bureaucrats and
trial lawyers who could destroy our private health care system," stated
# # #
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
Radio - :60
The Health Benefits Coalition
ANNCR: This news just in from Washington . . . and it looks like
bad news for people in [STATE]. Congressman ______ is about to vote for a
bill that will increase health insurance premiums for your family.
It's called a Patients' Bill of Rights, but there's a whole lot wrong
with it. It won't provide insurance if you don't have any - or even make
it easier to afford. Instead, it raises premiums for every family - and
leaves many without any insurance at all.
And, get this: The bill invents all kinds of new lawsuits. Your
company could be sued for medical malpractice - just for providing
you with health insurance.
So, trial lawyers get rich and happy. And [STATE] families and
businesses pay the price. Congressman ______, whose side are you on?
Call Congressman ______ today at 1-800-384-7023 and tell him which side
you're on. Tell him you can't afford the Dingell-Norwood bill of rights.
That's 1-800-384-7023 to oppose the Dingell-Norwood bill.
Paid for by the Health Benefits Coalition.
* Provisions in the Dingell-Norwood bill will increase health care
costs. Dingell-Norwood contains many of the same mandates foundin the
Kennedy-Dingell bill (S.6/H.R. 358), which the Congressional Budget Office
determined would raise health care premiums by 6.1 percent.
* Higher costs resulting from Dingell-Norwood will increase the
uninsured. The Lewin Group estimates that every one percent increase in
premiums results in 300,000 more uninsured.