Does America Need a Patient Bill of Rights?

NCPA To Examine Private Sector Alternatives at Hill Briefing

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) will hold a March 24th Congressional Briefing to examine proposed Patient Bill of Rights regulations and suggest alternatives which would empower patients to directly control the quality of health care. Speakers will address the following questions about proposed regulations pending in Congress:

  • Should people be able to join a health plan that restricts choices of physicians and limits access to diagnostic tests in return for a lower premium?
  • What recourse should they have if things later go wrong? Should they be able to sue?
  • What if employees have no real choice, other than their employer's health plan?

Some proposed regulations could raise the cost of premiums by up to 23 percent, and seriously threaten the survival of traditional HMOs and many other forms of managed care. Viable "patient power" alternatives include personal and portable health insurance, tax credits for all workers and patient protection accounts that give people the resources to go outside their plan when circumstances warrant it.

Speakers will include Rep. Jim McCrery, member of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee; Charles "Chip" Kahn, president-elect of the Health Insurance Association of America; Mark Litow, consultant from the actuarial firm Milliman & Robertson; Dr. John Goodman, NCPA president and author of "Patient Power;" Dr. Merrill Matthews, NCPA vice president - domestic policy; and Grace-Marie Arnett, chairwoman of the Health Care Consensus Group.

Rep. Jim McCrery, Charles "Chip" Kahn, Mark Litow, Dr. JohnGoodman, Dr. Merrill Matthews, Grace-Marie Arnett

Congressional Briefing on Patient Bill of Rights

10 a.m. to noon, March 24, 1998

2168 Rayburn House Office Building