Proposed "Patient Protection" Regulations Are Politically Motivated


CONTACT: Richard Coorsh

October 9, 2000

(202) 824-1787


The following statement was released today by Donald Young, M.D., chief operating officer and medical director of the Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA):

The Clinton-Gore Administration’s eagerness to issue final regulations for private health plans before Election Day is a back-door attempt to achieve political advantage at the expense of employers and consumers.

These new and expensive "one size fits all" regulations would force all private employee health plans to revise their claims and appeals processes. They also would subject these private health plans to unrealistic requirements that are far more stringent than those for the government’s Medicare program.

This "do as I say, not as I do" approach would do little to improve quality of care for consumers. If anything, it would impede consumers’ access to care by raising employers’ costs by an estimated $155 million in the first year alone. This, in turn, likely would induce some employers to drop health coverage altogether.

Health plans continue to improve and streamline their appeals and grievance procedures, and many of them now allow independent medical experts to review claims decisions. Consumers are best served when health insurers and health plans can respond directly to their needs. They are ill served by politically motivated government regulation that would raise coverage costs and cause employers to drop coverage.



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