NCHC Writer
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For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 24, 1998Statement on House Republican Health Care Proposal

Contact: 202-637-6830
or Dr. Simmons at home:

Statement on House Republican Health Care Proposal

Henry Simmons, M.D., M.P.H.

President, National Coalition on Health Care

“We applaud the House Republican Health Care Task Force for endorsing a set of basic protections for consumers in managed care and other health insurance plans. Such protections are an important step on the road to a better, m ore patient-focused and user-friendly health care system. Congress should enact such protections this year.”

“However, it is important to note that some 42 million Americans who lack health insurance wonít be helped by these patientsí rights protections. Every day these Americans are at the mercy of a system that deems them to be sec ond class citizens. “

“The Task Forceís other proposals to expand insurance coverage by allowing small businesses to band together are ñ while well intended ñ more problematic. As designed, they could end up doing more harm than good. For exampl e, if associations and “health marts” are free of state regulation they could undermine existing reforms in many states that protect consumers and make insurance more affordable for small businesses.”

“These elements of the proposal will need to be carefully examined when the Task Forceís detailed bill is released later this summer.”

The NCHC is the nationís most broadly representative non-partisan alliance working to improve Americaís health and health care system. Its 92 members include large and small businesses, labor unions, consumer groups, religious org anizations, physicianís and nurseís organizations, and academic health centers.

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