FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Zogby Poll Shows 70% of Voters Support
Independent Review Over New Health Care Lawsuits
Majority of Voters Would Oppose Lawsuits if Employers Are
Washington, DC, May 25, 2000 — As House and Senate conferees
work to resolve differences on the patients’ bill of rights, a new Zogby
poll shows more than 70 percent of voters support a quick, independent
review when care is denied over the ability to take health plans and
employers to court. The survey also found that more than half of all
voters would oppose the ability to sue HMOs if it means employers could be
taken to court; and that high health care costs still rank as the top
concern among voters. (Poll findings attached.)
"This Zogby poll confirms that when it comes to health care, voters
want to see the inside of an examining room, not a courtroom," said Dan
Danner, chairman of the Health Benefits Coalition. "The survey also shows
the top concern of voters is the high cost of health care. Turning trial
lawyers loose on the health care system would only increase those costs."
Specifically, the poll of 1,016 likely voters conducted May 10-13
- Seven out of 10 voters (71 percent) prefer a quick, independent
review that is binding on an HMO over the ability to take HMOs and
employers to court.
- 55 percent of voters are unaware a provision in the patients’ bill
of rights would allow businesses to be sued if employees had problems
with their HMOs.
- By a margin of more than three to one (54 percent to 15 percent)
voters are less likely to support new health care lawsuits when they
learn these lawsuits could bankrupt a business.
- Nearly 40 percent of voters consider high health care costs the
most important issues regarding health care (18 percent high treatment
costs, 12 percent prescription drug costs, and 10 percent insurance
Numerous legal studies have confirmed provisions to allow new lawsuits
against HMOs would also put employers at risk of lawsuits. A recent survey
by Harris Interactive found nearly half (45 percent) of employers would
drop health coverage for their employees rather than face such a risk.
Even if employers are not sued directly, they will pay the indirect costs
of new lawsuits. In many cases, these costs will be passed on directly to
employees and families in the form of higher premiums.
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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