|BILL OF HEALTH?
Should the government pass legislation
regulating managed care?
July 21, 1998
in this forum:
Should Congress pass legislation regulating managed care? What responsibility do employers share in the current managed care problem? What are the benefits of managed care? Isn't the HMO debate really a debate over whether health-care should be affordable and accessible for all? Is there a better system for healthcare and if so, what is it?
A discussion on managed care health plans.
June 22, 1998:
The rising price of health care.
May 5, 1998:
The rise in lawsuits against HMOs.
February 5, 1998:
Bill Gradison and Rep. Charles Norwood debate the health care bill of rights.
February 3, 1998:
Moving from community based hospitals to for-profit ones.
February 2, 1998:
The conversion of community hospitals to for-profit ones prompts a flury of legislative activity.
November 20, 1997:
Secretary Shalala discusses the consumer bill of rights for health care.
Browse the NewsHour's coverage of health issues and Medicare.
Health Insurance Association of America.
O ver 160 million Americans are enrolled in a managed care plan of some form today. But what was once hailed as a cost-cutting solution to rising medical costs has become a target of intense criticism.
President Clinton, in his State of the Union address, challenged Congress to meet consumer concerns about a perceived lack of choice and poor quality of treatment in managed care plans. "Medical decisions," Mr. Clinton stated, "ought to be made by medical doctors, not insurance company accountants."
Consumer advocacy groups, such as Families USA, argue that the current managed care system fails to provide adequate coverage for its patients. On the NewsHour, Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, stated, "Public policy…should take effective steps to ensure that appropriate health care is not withheld and that quality of care is provided to America's health care consumers."
Currently, numerous bills are being considered by Congress, including the Patient Bill of Rights Act of 1998. The proposal, which has received the endorsement of the American Medical Association and numerous consumer groups, seeks to protect patients and doctors from abuses by HMOs and medical insurance groups.
But health care industry analysts counter that government regulation will raise insurance premiums and subsequently, increase the number of uninsured Americans. According to Bill Gradison, president of Health Insurance Association of America, "The market is responding far more quickly and effectively than if Congress passes a lot of laws."
Should Congress pass legislation regulating managed care? What are the pros and cons of managed care?