House Managed Care Bills Contain Hundreds Of New Mandates


October 5, 1999

CONTACT: Richard Coorsh

(202) 824-1787

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 of mandates."

"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 Americans.


NOTE: HIAA’s tally of mandates contained in the "Dingwood," Shadegg-Coburn, and Boehner bills is available at


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