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Law Offices of Archie Lamb Responds to Recent AAHP Statements.

Health/Medical Editors & Government Writers

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--(BW HealthWire)--March 11, 2002

Archie Lamb Says: Managed Care Industry Distorts the Truth -- AGAIN; Insurance Industry Shifts Blame of Current Healthcare Crisis to Lawyers

Archie Lamb of the Law Offices of Archie Lamb makes a statement regarding the status of the healthcare industry:

Recent statements by the American Association of Health Plans

indicate that Washington's powerful insurance industry lobby is

resorting to the age-old tactic of changing the subject instead of

taking responsibility for its role in the current healthcare

crisis, said attorney Archie Lamb.

Lamb's comments are in reference to the statement released by the

AAHP Thursday in support of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2001

(HR 2341), stating health care litigation is causing the cost of

healthcare to rise. In addition, the AAHP statement claimed trial

lawyers are benefiting financially from such lawsuits at the

expense of consumers.

"The fact is, the data in a number of states that have passed

legislation to encourage litigation in insurance fraud cases will

indicate that the opposite is true," Lamb said. "All you have to

do is look at the model in Texas to disprove this claim."

The Texas Health Care Liability Act, passed into law in 1997, made

Texas the first state to impose malpractice accountability on

insurance companies whose treatment decisions cause injury. Since

its passage, there have been few lawsuits actually filed.

Lamb is a lead attorney for a consortium of law firms heading up

numerous lawsuits against the nation's largest for-profit HMOs.

These cases are part of the multi-district litigation consolidated

in Florida's Southern District Court, Miami Division (MDL No.

1334-MD-Moreno).

"It is ironic that the industry, without any legitimate

justification, insists on raising insurance premiums in election

years," Lamb said. "They stir up the small business, including the

physicians and physicians groups, by raising insurance premiums

and they blame it on lawsuits and lawyers. However, this industry

never presents hard proof of the relationship between litigation

and premium increases. Slowly but surely the public is seeing

through this sham and they are quickly getting sick and tired of

it."

These latest statements mark the second time in recent weeks the

AAHP has tried to shift the blame of their role in the health care

crisis. The AAHP also took out ads in Hollywood and Washington

D.C. publications to coincide with the motion picture release of

"John Q.," alleging Washington D.C. lawmakers are not doing enough

about the uninsured population.

"Three weeks ago, the AAHP was blaming the federal government for

the health care crisis and now it is the lawyers," Lamb said.

"When is the insurance lobby going to finally act responsible and

accept their accountability for the healthcare crisis in America?"

Lamb, who appeared last week on CNN to discuss the current

healthcare crisis, is suing managed healthcare companies,

including Humana, Aetna, Cigna, United, Pacificare, Prudential,

Healthnet and Wellpoint. The lawsuit accuses the HMOs of fraud,

extortion and racketeering by delaying and denying payments to

doctors and engaging in predatory and deceptive business practices

throughout the United States. (Please see www.HMOCrisis.com for

more information or e-mail alamb@archielamb.com or

adbuckley@jump.net for a copy of the CNN interview).
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 11, 2002
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