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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release August 5, 1999


With today's announcement led by Drs. Ganske and Norwood and Congressmen Dingell, it is clear that there is now a bipartisan majority of House members ready to vote for a strong and enforceable Patients' Bill of Rights. Unlike the partisan Senate-passed bill, this bipartisan initiative is a Patients' Bill of Rights not just in name but in reality. It provides meaningful patient protections to all Americans in all health plans, and it holds plans accountable when their actions cause harm to patients.

Today's action proves that patient protections need not and should not be a partisan issue. It is time to do what this bipartisan coalition has done - put the well-being of patients before politics and special interests. I call on Speaker Hastert to schedule a vote on this long-overdue legislation immediately upon return from the Congressional recess in September.