The Clinton-Gore Administration: Working for a Strong, Enforceable Patient's Bill of Rights

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 3, 2000


Today, President Clinton will urge Congressional conferees to act in a bipartisan fashion and deliver a strong, enforceable Patientsí Bill of Rights. He will underscore his belief that the Norwood-Dingell bill is a strong basis for final legislation and should not be watered down. Joined by bipartisan members of Congress, including Representatives Norwood, Dingell, Ganske and Berry, as well as Senators Specter, Kennedy, Chafee and Graham, the President will urge Congress to act now to pass a strong patientsí bill of rights that provides protections for all Americans in health plans and holds health plans accountable for decisions that harm patients.

THE NORWOOD-DINGELL LEGISLATION IS THE ONLY REAL PATIENTSí BILL OF RIGHTS. The Norwood-Dingell Patientsí Bill of Rights, which is endorsed by over 200 health care providers and consumer advocacy groups, and is the only bipartisan proposal currently being considered that includes:

THE SENATE BILL IS A PATIENTSí BILL OF RIGHTS IN NAME ONLY AND PROVIDES FEW REAL PROTECTIONS. The President will underscore his belief that the bill passed by the Senate is a Patients Bill of Rights in name only. It would:

PRESIDENT CLINTON WILL NOT SIGN A PATIENTSí BILL OF RIGHTS THAT REPRESENTS AN EMPTY PROMISE. Today, President Clinton will reiterate his refusal to enact legislation that does not provide strong patient protection for all Americans in health plans and include meaningful enforcement mechanisms. To date, there is no legislation other than the Norwood-Dingell bill that meets the Administrationís fundamental criteria: that patient protections be real and that court enforced remedies be accessible and meaningful.

PRESIDENT CLINTON UNDERSCORES HIS OPTIMISM THAT A STRONG PATIENTSí BILL OF RIGHTS WILL BE ENACTED THIS YEAR. Today, President Clinton will underscore his optimism that a strong Patientsí Bill of Rights will be enacted this year. Citing the Norwood-Dingell legislation, the President will highlight his belief that the momentum for this legislation is undeniable. He believes that the Congress will respond to the will of the public and pass a strong enforceable Patientsí Bill of Rights this year.

CLINTON-GORE ADMINISTRATIONíS LONGSTANDING COMMITMENT TO PROMOTING PATIENTSí RIGHTS. The Administration has a long history of promoting patientsí rights, and President Clinton has already extended many of these protections through executive action to the 85 million Americans who get their health care through federal plans -- from Medicare and Medicaid, to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP), to the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration. The Administrationís record on patientsí rights include:

What's New - March 2000

Women's History Month 2000

The Minimum Wage: Increasing the Reward for Work

New Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit

Meeting with Religious Leaders

Women's History Month

New Public Private Initiative to reduce Weather Related Air Travel Delays

Gun Violence

Agreement with Smith & Wesson


Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

American Red Cross Month

Prescription Drug Plan

U.S. – China WTO Accession Deal

Common Sense Gun Laws

Irish-American Heritage Month

Civilian Research and Development

Patient's Bill of Rights

Joint Statement by President Clinton and Prime Minister Tony Blair of the UK

Vaccines to Developing Countires

Human Genome Project

Information Age

Semi-Finalists for 2000-2001 White House Fellowships

President Clinton Urges Congress to Pass Budget

Congressional Budget Resolution

Save your Vision Week

St. Patrick's Day, 2000

Clinton/Gore actions to Enhance America's Energy Security

Social Security Trustees Report - March 30, 2000

Strengthen America's Energy Security

Report Shows Unprecedented Progress

Proclamation: Cancer Control Month, 2000

National Poison Prevention Week

Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A., 2000

Greek Independence Day

Proclamation: National Child Abuse Prevention Month, 2000

Statement by the President on NPT

Common Sense Gun Legislation

Raising the Minimum Wage

U.S. --China WTO Accession Deal

U.S.- China WTO Agreement

Enforcement of The U.S. - China WTO Accession Deal

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