CAGW SAYS HEALTHCARE BILL OF RIGHTS IS REPACKAGED CLINTONCARE

For Immediate Release    Contact:  Shawn
November 20, 1997 (202) 467-5300

 

 (Washington, D.C.) – At a White House ceremony today, President Clinton’s Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry unveiled its “Consumer Bill of Rights.”  Council for Citizens Against Government Waste President Thomas A. Schatz issued the following statement in opposition to the commission’s proposal.

“In 1994, the American people soundly rejected an attempt to put the nation’s healthcare system into government hands.  Since that time, President Clinton has looked for alternative means to implement his scheme.  He thinks he has found a way by spending $1.8 million on this advisory commission.  But people should not be fooled by the ‘openness’ of the process and soothing words like ‘quality’ and ‘bill of rights.’  It is nothing more than a warmed-over version of the 1994 Clintoncare proposal, repackaged with flashy ribbons, just in time for the holidays.

“The commission’s own statement says the President asked for a ‘Consumer Bill of Rights’ and recommendations to enforce those rights.  Does this all mean another 1,300-page healthcare reform bill? According to House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas), Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) has already drafted enforcement legislation which includes 85 percent of the regulatory essentials of the original Clinton plan.  Experts estimated that that plan would have increased the budget deficit by more than $900 billion over five years.

“In its preamble, the commission states that the Bill of Rights will provide a clear ‘set of unified standards,’ which means government mandates to force everyone into a one-size-fits-all healthcare system.  The commission provides little information about what these consumer rights will cost.  When the government gets involved, prices will rise and quality will suffer.

“Everybody agrees that consumers should have access to information about their healthcare plan or doctor, a wide range of choices, access to emergency care, full participation in decision-making, confidentiality and ability to appeal decisions.  What we do not need is the government making these decisions.

“The solution is to give individuals the power to choose their own healthcare.  Only a market-driven system will provide consumers the highest quality of care and the best customer service at the lowest prices.”

CCAGW is a 600,000 member lobbying organization dedicated to seeking enactment of legislation to eliminate waste, inefficiency, mismanagement and abuse in the federal government.

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