March 2, 2000
STATEMENT OF THE HEALTHCARE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL ON THE CONVENING OF THE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE ON MANAGED CARE REFORM LEGISLATION
(Washington, D.C.) – The Healthcare Leadership Council urges conferees on managed care reform legislation to consider carefully the path they follow and reject the path laid by the House.
The House-passed Dingell-Norwood bill far oversteps what is prudent policy. In particular, the expansion of legal liability would lead not only to a lawsuit bonanza, but poses the very real likelihood that many employers will be forced to stop offering health benefits.
This is not an idle threat; it's reality. Employers will face liability exposure to plaintiffs' lawyers looking for deep pockets. Defending against such lawsuits could force many employers into bankruptcy. From their perspective, better not to provide health insurance benefits and remain in business than risk debilitating legal costs defending against predator attorneys.
HLC is very concerned about the unintended consequences of more expensive government mandates and liability expansion. Together, they would lead to higher health care costs, more uninsured, reduced access to coverage, and fewer resources available for innovation and quality improvement.
As leaders in every sector of the health care system, HLC urges conferees to reject the House-passed bill. It does much more to help special interests, such as the plaintiffs' bar, than consumers and patients.
HLC calls upon House and Senate conferees to do what's right for working Americans. Reject the Dingell-Norwood bill.