NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Voters Prefer Outside Reviews To Litigation In Managed Care Disputes

November 17, 2000

Despite the attention given Patients' Bill of Rights this past year, managed care reform was not the most important issue to most voters. And most of those questioned in a poll released yesterday prefer a speedy, independent review process to "right to sue" legislation for managed care disputes.

The poll was done by Ayres, McHenry and Associates for the American Association of Health Plans, a managed care industry group.

  • When asked whether they preferred suing their health plan and recovering damages or having a quick appeal reviewed by outside physicians, 65 percent of voters chose the appeal.
  • This included 63 percent of voters who supported Al Gore and 68 percent who backed George W. Bush.
  • The poll showed 64 percent of voters want Congress to pass a patient bill of rights with an independent physician appeals process, but no new lawsuits.
  • Only 16 percent said Congress should not pass a bill unless it allows new lawsuits against HMOs and employers.

Only 18 percent of voters said health care was the issue that had the greatest effect on their votes for president, ranking behind education and the economy.

Source: April Fulton, "Poll Downplays Managed Care Reform Effect in Election," National Journal's Congress Daily, November 16, 2000.


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