For Immediate Release         Contact:  Jim Campi
April 1, 1998

           (202) 467-5300


(Washington, D.C.) – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) issued the following statement today in response to introduction of the Patients’ Bill of Rights Act of 1998.  Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) introduced the bill in the Senate; Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) introduced the bill in the House.

“Even though President Clinton’s massive, one-size-fits-all healthcare plan collapsed four years ago, Clinton Care advocates have not given up their fight to force their socialistic ideas on everyone,” said CAGW President Thomas A. Schatz.  “Instead of implementing a government-run healthcare plan all at once, Clinton and his cronies are trying to do it a step at a time.

“Although the President’s Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry supports a government commitment to improve the quality of healthcare for all Americans, they wisely did not suggest federal legislation to implement their recommendations.

“The last thing Congress needs to do is pass a top-down, Washington-knows-best healthcare measure.  That kind of legislation will create a huge federal bureaucracy, drive up costs and force many businesses – particularly small companies – to give up providing healthcare to their employees.  Unfortunately, some members of Congress have not gotten the message that Americans still do not want government-run healthcare.”

“The bills introduced by Rep. John Dingell and Sen. Tom Daschle would place a plethora of mandates on managed care and open employers up to malpractice lawsuits.  If a small businessman faces liability from his employees through the company’s healthcare plan, that employer will not open himself up to losing his business.  Faced with this threat, employers will drop health insurance coverage for their employees quicker than an action scene from ER.

“This new legislation, along with a bill introduced last year, the Patient Access to Responsible Care Act, are nothing more than warmed up versions of President Clinton’s Health Care Security Act, which was soundly rejected by the American people.  Americans need to be wary of soothing words like quality and choice in healthcare because the people that will be deciding what those words mean are government bureaucrats, not consumers.

“The only way to solve problems in healthcare delivery is for Congress to provide bold new solutions that put consumers in charge of their healthcare choices.  Changing the tax code so that small companies or even individuals can get the same advantages in buying healthcare plans as large companies is one place to start.  Congress should not be focused on passing a healthcare mandate a week.”


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