"Patient Protections" Would Help Lawyers And Hurt Consumers


CONTACT: Richard Coorsh

September 14, 2000

(202) 824-1787

e-mail: rcoorsh@hiaa.org

The following statement was released today by Chip Kahn, President of the Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA):

Todayís made-for-media event in support of so-called "patient protections" has everything to do with public relations, little if anything with health care quality, and nothing to do with what should be the number one "patient protection": affordable health coverage.

So-called "patient protections" would hurt, not help consumers. Indeed, the latest Dingell-Norwood "patient protection" legislation would increase the threat of unlimited "jackpot by jury" litigation by authorizing new lawsuits in both state and federal courts. Extending this kind of authority to the trial bar would further fuel rising health care costs, and add to our nationís most grievous national epidemic: the estimated one million Americans who, through no fault of their own, are added each year to the rolls of the nationís uninsured.

Health insurers and health plans are one of the nationís most regulated industries, and we continually respond to consumers by adopting improved coverages and services. On the other hand, so-called "patient protection" legislation responds primarily to the interests of organized medicine and the trial bar.



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