Urging Senate Republicans to Pass a Real Patientsí Bill of Rights Without Delay

September 14, 2000

"We don't need any more time to debate this. It's time to listen to the doctors, the nurses, the patients, and other consumer and provider experts and provide all Americans in all plans the patient protections they deserve."

Today, at the White House, President Clinton called on the Senate Republican leadership to heed the will of the majority in the Senate to bring the bipartisan Norwood-Dingell Patientsí Bill of Rights legislation to a vote and pass the bill without further delay. The President expressed his concern over threats by some Senate Republican leaders to use procedural tactics, such as a filibuster, to prevent a vote on the bill. The President joined representatives of Families USA, the American Medical Association, and the American Osteopathic Association in launching the Patientsí Rights Tour 2000, a national tour to highlight the costs and consequences to millions of Americans of delaying passage of this critical legislation.

CHALLENGING THE SENATE TO VOTE ON THE REAL PATIENTSí BILL OF RIGHTS. The bipartisan Norwood-Dingell Patientsí Bill of Rights is endorsed by over 300 consumer advocacy and health care provider groups, and is the only bipartisan proposal currently being considered that includes:

REPUBLICANS MAY USE PROCEDURAL TACTICS TO PREVENT PASSAGE. President Clinton pointed out that the Senate has a majority of support for a strong, enforceable, Patientsí Bill of Rights, like the bipartisan Norwood-Dingell legislation. However, Senate Republicans have indicated their intention to filibuster this legislation and use procedural tactics to thwart the will of the majority. The President urged the Senate to hold a straight up-or-down vote on the Norwood-Dingell legislation without delay.

LAUNCHING THE PATIENTSí RIGHTS 2000 TOUR. According to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, each day without a strong Patientsí Bill of Rights results in 49,560 people being denied health care or experiencing a delay in receiving care. Today, Families USA launched its Patientsí Rights 2000 tour, a national effort to highlight that unnecessary delay in passing this legislation results in harm to thousands of patients daily and millions of patients each year.

FLAWED SENATE REPUBLICAN BILL REPRESENTS AN EMPTY PROMISE. The patientsí rights legislation passed by the Republican Senate would:

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Urging Senate Republicans to Pass a Real Patientsí Bill of Rights

Providing Long-Term Care Insurance to Federal Workers

Calling on Congress to Act Now on Permanent Conservation Funding

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Improving Access to Government Services and Information

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Highlighting Record Gains for Working Families Across America

Announcing the Largest Budget Surplus in History

Working to Ensure Health Insurance Coverage for Children

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