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Bipartisan Bill Gains Momentum, Worries Industry

MANAGED CARE September 1999. © MediMedia USA
News and Commentary

Bipartisan Bill Gains Momentum, Worries Industry

MANAGED CARE September 1999. ©1999 MediMedia USA

Congress this month will take up a bipartisan managed care reform bill, perhaps the first this year to truly worry the insurance lobby. The bill, sponsored by Georgia Republican Charles Norwood and Michigan Democrat John Dingell, has 65 cosponsors, and is supported by the AMA. It was introduced in the House after the GOP leadership was unable to produce a bill.

Norwood attracted a following from those favoring the right to sue HMOs. Iowa Rep. Greg Ganske, a physician who supports the bipartisan bill, predicts it will become law.

Chip Kahn, president of the Health Insurance Association of America, thinks so, too — but warns that it would expose employers to lawsuits and boost unemployment. The Washington-based Health Benefits Coalition went further in its opposition, dubbing the bill the "Health Insurance Elimination Act of 1999."