May 28, 1998


This bill says, how can you let some person with the mentality of an accountant, who will only see the number of what it costs to have somebody do her surgery, who will only see the number at the bottom line of what the chemotherapy costs, make a decision. We're not that kind of people; we're not that kind of society.

- President Bill Clinton
May 28, 1998

Today, President Clinton is joined by Vice President Gore, Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, and Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman, in calling on Congress to pass a Patients' Bill of Rights, legislation which offers certain protections to all Americans when they become ill. The President will also release a report showing the impact of health care issues on women, and why a Patients' Bill of Rights is necessary to protect all Americans.

Patients' Bill of Rights. The nation's health care system is undergoing significant change. Many Americans worry that these changes may reduce their health care options and lower the standards of care. The President has already signed an executive order requiring that all federal agencies substantially comply with the Patients' Bill of Rights. Now, these protections must be extended to all Americans. A Patients' Bill of Rights would give Americans much needed protections, including:

A Patients' Bill Of Rights Helps Ensure Women Get Access To the Services They Need. Women are particularly affected by health care issues. A new study shows that:

State Laws Cannot Protect All Citizens. The President congratulates the 44 states who have passed at least one element of the Patients' Bill of Rights. However, over 122 million Americans are enrolled in health care plans which are not fully governed by state law, and therefore do not enjoy the full protection that these laws are intended to give.

Challenging Congress To Pass A Federally-Enforceable Patients' Bill Of Rights This Year. The President renews his call to Congress to pass a Patients' Bill of Rights this year. Without this legislation, the millions of Americans in private health plans will never be assured these basic protections.

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