February 27, 1998
TO: REPUBLICAN OFFICIALS AND CONSERVATIVE LEADERS
FROM: STEVE FORBES, HONORARY CHAIRMAN, AMERICANS FOR HOPE, GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITY
SUBJECT: TIME TO ABANDON THE NORWOOD BILL
It is time for Members of Congress to abandon the "Patient Access to Responsible Care Act" (PARCA), whose chief architect is Representative Charlie Norwood (R-Georgia). The bill's intentions are noble, but its results would be a disaster.
- PARCA would impose some 500 new federal mandates and regulations on the health care industry. Some are written with language almost exactly the same as the disastrous Clinton Care bill that rightly went down in political flames in 1994.
- PARCA's mandates such as "guaranteed issue" would drive up health care premiums across the country by an average of 23 percent, or an additional $1,200 a year for an average family enrolled in a health maintenance organization. Middle class families in some areas of the country could be hit even harder. "After New Jersey passed a law like this, the average annual premium for a family of four skyrocketed to $18,700, compared with just $3,000 across the river in Pennsylvania," notes John C. Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis.
- PARCA would force between 4.6 million and 8 million low- and middle-income Americans into the ranks of the uninsured. Every 1 percent increase in premiums leads to 200,000 Americans becoming unable to afford health insurance, according to the Congressional Budget Office. A study by The Lewin Group puts the number at 400,000 uninsured for every 1 percent increase in premiums. This is going to hit minorities, women and the young the hardest.
- PARCA could force health insurance companies to pay for abortion on demand. PARCA mandates what health-related costs insurers must cover. Under PARCA, insurers may be forced to cover the costs of abortions at any point during the pregnancy where they do not currently do so. Hospitals and doctors may be forced to perform abortions where they do not currently do so. No provisions within the bill specifically exempt abortion services. Do the co-sponsors of PARCA really understand that they may be supporting government-mandated abortion on demand? Is this their intent?
Noble intentions do not excuse harmful, destructive policy. It is time
for this bill's co-sponsors to head for the exits, before voters show them
Contact: Joel Rosenberg, Communications Director, (703) 925-9281 or email@example.com
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