Shadegg-Coburn "Compromise" Is Little More Than "Dingwood II"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 9, 1999

CONTACT: Richard Coorsh

(202) 824-1787

rcoorsh@hiaa.org

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

The well-honed Capitol Hill art of "positioning" is alive and well within the so-called compromise bill introduced today by Representatives John Shadegg (R-AZ) and Tom Coburn (R-OK). Despite the sponsors’ transparent attempts to position their measure as a "moderate proposal," this bill is little more than "Dingwood II," and is as politically motivated as all of the other so-called "patient protection" bills currently before Congress.

Make no mistake: the chief beneficiaries of this legislation would be trial lawyers – not to mention politicians on both sides of the aisle grandstanding for their own short-term benefit.

The dirty little secret behind the Shadegg-Coburn bill, the "Dingwood" bill, and other so-called "patient protection" measures is that consumers and employers once again would be stuck with the tab, and would struggle somehow to shoulder higher health care costs.

Currently, more than 44 million Americans don’t have any health coverage at all – in most cases, because they cannot afford the cost. In response, Reps. Shadegg and Coburn – along with sponsors and cosponsors of other so-called "patient protection" bills – would raise costs, thereby raising the number of uninsured Americans. The "logic" behind these harmful proposals makes sense only if one recalls Will Rogers, who once asked, "If ‘pro’ is the opposite of ‘con,’ what is the opposite of progress?"

Sadly, the Shadegg-Coburn bill – like all of the other so-called "patient protection" measures – cynically relegates consumers seeking affordable health coverage to the back of the pack. Providing health coverage to the millions of Americans who desperately need it should be "job one." Instead, Reps. Shadegg, Coburn, Dingell, Norwood, and their cosponsors would raise the bar for the uninsured and further enrich trial lawyers in the process.

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