July 16, 1998


We cannot spare another moment in securing passage of a strong, enforceable Patients' Bill of Rights. To do that, we must work together. To protect our families, to save them from the needless suffering that pains us all, we need a bipartisan approach -- not partisan bills that are about political positioning.

President Bill Clinton
July 16, 1998

Today, President Clinton joins Democratic and Republican members of Congress on Capitol Hill to support passage of a good and bipartisan Patients' Bill or Rights. The President will also highlight the bipartisan approach to this issue taken by Reps. Greg Ganske (R-IA) and John Dingell (D-MI).

President Clinton Calls On Congress To Pass An Enforceable Patients' Bill Of Rights. President Clinton is working to protect Americans and guarantee Americans fundamental protections in health care decisions. For nine months the President has been urging Congress to pass a Patients' Bill of Rights. In February 1998, the President signed an Executive Memorandum directing the federal health plans overseeing 85 million Americans to implement the Patients' Bill of Rights. The President has said that Patients' Bill of Rights legislation must meet the following objectives:

The President's Plan Has Broad Support. President Clinton's plan has been endorsed by many groups, including the American Medical Association, National Breast Cancer Coalition, AIDS Action, and others who believe, as the President does, that medical decisions should be made by patients in consultation with their doctors and nurses.

Republican Proposals Do Not Provide Adequate Patient Protections. Republicans are supporting legislative policies that fall short of providing essential protections, for example, they:

The President's Leadership Is Helping Ensure Basic Health Care Protections For Americans. Americans need to be ensured that important protections, like access to a health care specialist or the emergency room is guaranteed. President Clinton has already extended these rights and others to 85 million Americans in federal health plans, now it is time for Congress to act so all Americans can be guaranteed these vital protections.

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