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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 15, 2001
President's Statement on Patients' Bill of Rights
The bipartisan proposal introduced today by Senators Frist, Breaux, and Jeffords makes important progress in our efforts to provide patients with a strong and effective Patients' Bill of Rights.
This bipartisan Patients' Bill of Rights reflects the principles I laid out earlier this year. It provides strong patient protections for all Americans, ensures that doctors and patients make medical decisions, and holds health plans accountable by providing patients with meaningful remedies when they have been wrongly denied medical care. The bill also protects employers and their employees from unnecessary litigation that would increase health care premiums and force too many Americans to do without health insurance.
Congress has been long divided over this issue. I applaud Senators Frist, Breaux and Jeffords and the many patient and provider groups working with them for finding a common sense compromise.
I am similarly encouraged by the bipartisan discussions on this issue between the Administration and Speaker Hastert and other House leaders. These efforts, combined with the introduction of this bipartisan bill in the Senate, give me great hope that the Congress will send a good Patients' Bill of Rights to my desk this year.