Managed Care Bills Contain Hundreds Of New Mandates
October 5, 1999
CONTACT: Richard Coorsh
Consumers’ costs, number of uninsured, will rise
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Each of three controversial so-called "Patient
Protection" bills currently being considered in the House of
Representatives contains hundreds of mandates that would make health
insurance more expensive and lead to an increase of the number of
uninsured Americans, according to a new report released today by the
Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA).
The report examines mandates contained in the "Dingwood"
(Dingell-Norwood) bill, the Shadegg-Coburn bill, and the Boehner bill.
Among its findings are that the "Dingwood" and Shadegg-Coburn bills each
contain more than two times the number of mandates than in Rep. Norwood’s
discredited "PARCA" bill of last year.
"Each of these three bills would pile on literally hundreds of new
mandates to all health plans and types of health insurance – not
just to HMOs," noted HIAA President Chip Kahn. "Our concern is not in the
abstract – mandates cost money. Up to one out of every four of the
nation’s 44 million uninsured Americans lack coverage because of the cost
"It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make the connection," added Mr.
Kahn. "The ugly truth is that well-intentioned policy makers refuse
to make the connection."
According to Mr. Kahn, mandates contained in both the "Dingwood" and
Shadegg-Coburn bills would allow reviewers to overturn valid health
insurance contracts based upon solid actuarial analysis, that spell out
the terms and conditions of coverage. This in turn would benefit health
care providers at the expense of employers and consumers, who would be
compelled to pay more for their health coverage – assuming that they still
can afford it – he noted.
He also said that instead of empowering bureaucrats to put manacles on
insurers with hundreds of new mandates, Congressional leaders of both
parties – and the Administration – should focus solely upon helping poor
Americans purchase health insurance.
"Let’s not kid ourselves," said Mr. Kahn. "The nation’s number one
domestic priority is to make health coverage more affordable. "The most
important ‘patient protection’ that people need is protection against
higher coverage costs imposed upon them by lawmakers."
HIAA is the nation’s most prominent trade association representing the
private health care system. Its members provide health, long-term care,
disability, dental, and supplemental coverage to more than 123 million
NOTE: HIAA’s tally of mandates contained in the "Dingwood,"
Shadegg-Coburn, and Boehner bills is available at http://www.hiaa.org/news/news-state/parca.htm
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