MANAGED CARE REFORM: Republicans Back Democratic Plan
Nine Republican House members yesterday "endorsed a patients' rights measure introduced by House Commerce ranking member John Dingell (D-MI), which had been viewed as the Democratic approach to the issue," CongressDaily reports. Rep. Greg Ganske (R-IA) "insisted it was not his intention" to criticize his party's position on the issue, "but to laud the positive aspects of Dingell's bill -- especially those related to community rating and guaranteed issuance of policies." Aside from Ganske, the Republican cosponsors of Dingell's proposal are: Michael Forbes (NY), Jim Leach (IA), Charles Bass (NH), Jon Fox (PA), Wayne Gilchrest (MD), Lindsey Graham (SC), Steve Horn (CA) and Steven LaTourette (OH) (Norton, 4/29).
Reacting to GOP support of a Democratic plan, National Federation of Independent Business President Jack Faris said, "I am disappointed that these usual 'supporters' of small business ignored the concerns of small business by backing legislation that will increase health care costs for tens of thousands of small-business owners and force many to drop coverage altogether" (NFIB release, 4/29). National Association of Manufacturers Vice President for Human Resources Policy Patrick Cleary said, "There simply is no excuse for supporting a bill that benefits only bureaucrats and lawyers at the expense of the hundreds of thousands of employers who voluntarily provide health care benefits to their employees and the millions of Americans who depend on employer-sponsored health plans" (NAM release, 4/29).