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

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 9, 2001

President Bush Discusses Patients' Bill of Rights at Hospital
Inova Fair Oaks Hospital
Fairfax, Virginia

2:18 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all for coming. Knox, thank you very much for setting up the meeting with Knox and hospital officials, nurses, former patients. We had a great discussion about the need for our nation to pass legislation with America's patients in mind; that the whole core of a good bill recognizes that patients ought to have direct access to specialists, such as Dr. Berry, an OB/GYN, cancer specialists; that patients ought to have the capacity to take complaints to an independent review organization staffed by doctors and medical professionals.

We're making good progress. There is a lot of agreement on a bill that has -- bills moving their way through the House of Representatives right now.

But I want a bill to sign that does not run the cost of premiums up or health care up as a result of excessive lawsuits. I want a bill that honors patients, not trial lawyers; a bill that makes it easier for docs to do their job, as opposed to a bill that encourage excessive litigation.

I want to, again, thank you for the chance to visit.

Dr. Berry, you might want to say a few things.

* * * * * *

THE PRESIDENT: Okay, thank you all.

Q Mr. President, any decisions on stem cell -- Q What did you hear from the patients --

Q What did the patients --

THE PRESIDENT: The patients just want to make sure they've got access to specialists, and they, too, like the idea of having an independent review organization where they can take their complaints, where they can solve problems before it ends up in a court of law.

There are some people up there on the Hill that are interested in fostering excessive litigation, which is not good for patients. I think Americans understand that.

END 2:20 P.M. EDT

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