President Clinton is leading a public relations campaign to build support for patients bill of rights legislation that would mandate health coverage. The President and more than 100 lawmakers on Capitol Hill are pushing for health mandates that would add more than $200 annually to the cost of premiums, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Clinton says the additional costs are little more than $10 annually.

Proponents of health mandate legislation are also launching a web site to gather signatures in support of their proposals. The proposals increase the cost of health care because they mandate health care coverage, allow plans to be sued and expose employers to greater liability. year after year, small business owners cite the high cost of health care as the number one problem facing their business.

The White House is confident its patients bill of rights proposals can win in Congress. Analysts say to expect emotional appeals to persuade lawmakers to pass legislation. Small business owners and NFIB favor market-based health care reform, with proposals that encourage more insurance coverage and affordable plans.