The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 27, 2001

Statement by the President

The bipartisan proposal introduced today by Representatives Ernie Fletcher, Collin Peterson, Nancy Johnson and Richard Burr along with Speaker Hastert and the chairmen of the three committees with jurisdiction, Chairmen Boehner, Tauzin and Thomas, makes progress in our effort to provide patients with a strong and enforceable Patients' Bill of Rights.

This proposal, like the legislation introduced by Senators Frist, Breaux, and Jeffords, is another example of a Patients' Bill of Rights that reflects the principles I laid out earlier this year. I am encouraged that the bill introduced today brings us significantly closer to enacting a good Patients' Bill of Rights.

This legislation provides strong patient protections to all Americans. It ensures that patients have the right to an independent medical review when they have been denied medical care, and it holds health plans accountable by providing patients with meaningful, effective remedies when they have been harmed by a denial or delay in receiving such care.

I am committed to providing patients with expanded remedies to hold their health plans accountable and believe we can do so while protecting workers and their families from costly litigation that would increase health care premiums and leave too many Americans without health insurance. This legislation introduced today provides patients with meaningful remedies while preserving uniformity and certainty for employers who voluntarily offer health care benefits for millions of Americans across the country.

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