Care Quality And Access Act Of 1999" Would Raise Costs, Increase The
Number Of Uninsured
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 1999
CONTACT: Richard Coorsh
The following statement was released today by Chip Kahn, President of
the Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA):
We commend Representatives William Goodling (R-PA), John Boehner
(R-OH), and other Congressional Republicans for their concern about health
care costs in their crafting of the "Health Care Quality and Access Act of
1999." We also want to recognize that the bill does not contain a
provision that would expand liability against health plans or employers.
Nevertheless, HIAA must oppose this bill, as we oppose other legislation
that would raise consumers’ costs and increase the number of Americans
without health insurance.
In addition to so-called "Patient Protections" that result in more
uninsured Americans, the legislation would promote Association Health
Plans (AHPs), otherwise known as Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements,
or "MEWAs." AHPs/MEWAs would raise coverage costs for people with
state-regulated small group insurance, and eventually lead to the
destruction of the small group marketplace. Additionally, since fraud and
abuse have been related to certain MEWA plans in the past, we are
concerned that additional AHP/MEWA coverage would increase the likelihood
of some employers and consumers suffering again from a handful of
underhanded MEWA plan administrators.
HIAA believes that "job one" should be providing coverage to the more
than 43 million Americans who currently lack it. We encourage Congress to
work with us to approve provisions of our InsureUSA initiative, instead of
considering legislation that would raise costs, and correspondingly, raise
the number of uninsured Americans.
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