NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Poll: Right To Sue HMOs Low Priority For Consumers

May 2, 2001

Consumers do not consider the right to sue health insurers over coverage issues a top health care priority, according to new survey data released by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA).

The Blues released the polling data as key players in the patients' bill of rights debate continue to haggle over controversial language on holding health plans liable for coverage decisions.

  • Nearly all of those surveyed--95 percent--said they wanted affordable health care coverage, while 89 percent want to limit the cost of drugs.
  • Asked to name the one or two issues that should be given the highest priority, only 1 percent of consumers opted for the right to sue.
  • Most indicated that affordable coverage (24 percent) and limiting the cost of drugs (17 percent) should be the top priorities.

Just 46 percent of consumers surveyed by Menlo Park, California-based Knowledge Networks indicated that the right to sue should be a high priority. But this right finished last among 21 major health issues that consumers were asked to rank.

Source: Karen Pallarito, "Poll: Right to sue HMOs low priority for consumers," Reuters Health, April 26, 2001.


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