Campaign 2010

Jun 23, 2004

Patients’ Bill of Rights

You’ll be hearing more about this, but as a primer read Mark A. R. Kleiman’s review of Bush’s gymnastics on the subject, and here is Pelosi’s statement from just after the Supreme Court decision was handed down:

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling that favors big HMOs over patients underscores what Democrats have known all along: the only way to give every American in every health plan the right to see a specialist, to go to the nearest emergency room, and to hold health care plans accountable when they cause harm, is to pass a real patients’ bill of rights.


“During the 2000 campaign, George W. Bush promised that if he became President, ‘people will be able to take their HMO insurance company to court.’  He touted the law that passed in Texas.  But in the case decided today, his Administration actually argued against the Texas law before the Supreme Court.  And despite their pledge to complete a real bill, Republicans in Congress continue to delay action on a meaningful patients’ bill of rights.

“The Republicans’ double-talk on patients’ rights has reached a new low.  A right that cannot be enforced is not a right at all, it is just a request. We need a strong bill that protects all Americans and all plans, so that doctors, not insurance companies, can make medical decisions.  The more than 190 million Americans who use managed care or other insurance plans are still waiting for the protections they were promised.”

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