FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Renae Newmiller
Who Will Pay the Price for New Health Care Regulations?
New TV ad warns Americans that they could end up paying
Ganske and Kennedy bills.
Washington, DC, March 25, 1999 – As Congress begins to consider
several "so-called" patients’ rights bills, the Health Benefits Coalition
announced that it is gearing up for a major grassroots and media campaign
that will span more than 25 congressional districts and 19 states during
the Easter congressional recess. The coalition’s efforts include a new TV
ad that points to American families and businesses as those who will pay
the price for new health care regulations contained in the Ganske (H.R.
719) and Kennedy-Dingell (S.6, H.R. 358) bills.
To demonstrate how these bills will impact all Americans, the ad
highlights several concerns: "I gotta pay more for new government
regulations? I can barely afford insurance now," says the first man. "I’ll
loose my coverage if costs go up … what if my kids get sick?" questions a
mother with a child. "I could get sued just for providing health insurance
to my employees? That could cost me my business," states a small business
"Through increased costs, lost health insurance and exposure to costly
lawsuits, the Kennedy and Ganske bills pose a real threat to our health
care system," stated Dan Danner, chairman of the Health Benefits
Coalition. "We believe people are going to be very upset once they learn
what these bills are going to cost them."
Although Representative Ganske claims that his bill is a different,
affordable approach to health care reform, it contains nearly all of the
same costly, big government mandates that are in the Kennedy bill. The
Kennedy bill has been estimated to raise health care costs by $200 per
family and could force another 2 million Americans into the ranks of the
uninsured (based on data drawn from the Congressional Budget Office,
Towers Perrin, and The Barents Group).
Both bills put health plans and the employers who sponsor them at risk
of new lawsuits, punishing employers – who voluntarily provide health
insurance – while rewarding trial lawyers, who pocket most of the money.
At the same time, these lawsuits do nothing to help patients get the care
they need when they need it. The expanded liability provision alone in the
Kennedy-Dingell bill would raise premiums 8.6% (The Barents Group). And
most businesses would be forced to pass this cost on to their employees or
drop coverage all together. In fact, a Public Opinion Strategies poll
showed 57% of small businesses would drop coverage if exposed to expanded
"At a time when families and businesses are already experiencing an
increase in their health care costs, Congress should not give Americans
the ultimatum of pay more or lose your health insurance," said Danner.
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