THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
STATEMENT BY VICE PRESIDENT GORE ON THE PATIENTS' BILL OF RIGHTS AND WOMEN ON INTERNATIONAL WOMENS' DAY
President Clinton and I have made improving women's health a top priority and that is why we are calling on Congress to enact the Patients' Bill of Rights immediately.
The President has proposed unprecedented investments in medical research, treatment, and prevention to improve the health of women. We have also called on Congress to enact a Patient's Bill of Rights and taken steps to give these rights to millions of Americans who receive health care through a government program. In order to give women and all Americans the kind of protections they deserve, Congress must act quickly to pass a Patient's Bill of Rights.
With only 70 days left in this legislative session, time is running out. By enacting the Patients' Bill of Rights, we can provide important protections to address grievances with health plans, give all women access to the specialists they need, allow women access to an OB/GYN and assure them access to an appeals process.
As we celebrate International Women's Day, we mark what I hope will be only a beginning of a new commitment in quality health care for women. To continue our efforts, the President and I have made improving women's health care a priority in our 1999 budget where we have included funding for more research for breast and cervical cancer and allow Medicare beneficiaries access to certain cancer clinical trials.
This Administration has made a historic commitment to women's health and it is time to take the next step. I urge Congress to enact the Patients' Bill of Rights, a strong step toward ensuring women the kind of quality health care they deserve.