Monday, November 2, 1998


Quality health care should not be a partisan issue. Quality health care is a practical issue for patients and their families. Fortunately, when it comes to issues like this one, Americans have an appeals process: it is called an election. I hope all Americans will go to the polls tomorrow and elect a Congress that is 100 percent committed to passing a patients' bill of rights.

President Bill Clinton
November 2, 1998

Today at the White House, President Clinton will urge voters to send back a Congress that shares his commitment to pass a strong enforceable Patients' Bill of Rights next year. The President will also unveil a report from the Vice President showing that the Federal government is taking all action within its authority to implement the Patients' Bill of Rights in health plans it administers or oversees.

The Next Congress Should Pass A Strong and Enforceable Patients' Bill Of Rights. For a full year, President Clinton has been calling on Congress to pass a strong, enforceable Patients' Bill of Rights that includes: access to specialists, coverage of emergency room services when and where the need arises, continuity of care if an employer switches plans, an internal and independent external appeals process allowing individuals to challenge decisions by HMO accountants, and protections to assure that HMO's are held accountable when patients are harmed or injured due to a health plans' decisions. The Republican Congressional leadership failed to support the President's plan and instead introduced a bill that contained more loopholes than patient protections. The President is urging Americans to elect a Congress that shares his commitment to passing this important legislation.

The Clinton Administration Is Acting To Implement Patient Protections In Federal Health Plans. Today, the Vice President released a report highlighting that agencies working with health plans that cover roughly 85 million Americans have taken all action within their statutory authority to implement patient protections. As a result, these health plans are now, or soon will be, in virtual compliance with the Patients' Bill of Rights. The report documents that:

The White House Briefing Room
The White House at Work Archives