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 Press Release

January 8, 1999

Patient Protections Should Improve Lives  Not Create Red Tape

(Washington, D.C.)-- Congress should focus on health care reforms that make a real difference in patients lives, rather than enacting laws that open up courts to health-related lawsuits and increase health care costs, according to health industry leaders.

Rep. Charles Norwoods (R-Ga.) latest patient protection bill is merely a rehash of his overly prescriptive Patient Access to Responsible Care Act from last year, said Pamela G. Bailey, president of the Healthcare Leadership Council, in response to Rep. Norwoods introduction of health legislation today.  Provisions such as those included in the congressman's bill would make coverage more expensive, less available and would eliminate all flexibility in the marketplace by stifling innovation and limiting choice.

Any legislation that imposes health care mandates is a threat to the quality care Americans deserve, added Bailey. Dont be fooled.  Real patient protections are ensuring greater access to care, more affordable care and the highest quality care.

HLC sees three major areas where Congress can accomplish these goals    Medicare reform, access for the uninsured and medical records confidentiality legislation.

This Congress has a great opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the lives of every American and enact true patient protections, said Bailey.  It should not get sidetracked with a divisive battle over lawsuits and red tape.


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