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June 14, 2001

Chamber Affiliate Launches Ad Campaign To Oppose Kennedy-McCain Legislation

Washington, D.C. – The United States Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is launching a television and print media campaign to highlight the potentially devastating impact that the Kennedy-McCain Patients’ Bill of Rights legislation would have on health care coverage in America.

“Leave it to personal injury lawyers to straighten out our health care system,” notes the print ad, which features a heart monitor that displays a healthy heartbeat moving to a flat-line. A companion 30-second television commercial will ask viewers to “say no” to the Kennedy-McCain bill.

“Kennedy-McCain would boost the cost of health insurance premiums by 4.2 percent, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates,” said Institute President James M. Wootton. “That could lead to more than a million Americans losing their health insurance as companies drop coverage rather than face a potential lawsuit.”

Health plans should be held accountable, but Kennedy-McCain would open the door to runaway litigation, according to the Institute. “We must not turn over the health care system to fee-driven personal injury lawyers. This bill is a giant step in the wrong direction and would just continue the alarming trend of substituting litigation for management and regulation,” said Wootton.

The television ad debuts Sunday, June 17 on morning network talk shows and will continue throughout the week on local newscasts in the Washington, D.C. market. The ads were created by Goddard Claussen Porter Novelli, the same firm that produced the famed “Harry and Louise” ads, which were widely credited with helping defeat the Clinton health care initiative.

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The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform is working to reduce excessive and frivolous litigation, while making the nation’s civil justice system simpler, fairer and faster for all parties. The United States Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.

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