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US House of Representatives
Statement by the Hon. Rosa L. DeLauro
on the Patient's Bill of Rights
Wednesday, June 23, 1999

"For the past two years, the public has been very clear in its desire for managed care reform.  It has sent the same, consistent message time and time again: medical decisions should be made by doctors and patients, not by insurance company bureaucrats.

"Today, I am signing a discharge petition calling for real managed care reform to be brought to the House floor immediately.  The petition calls for a Patient's Bill of Rights that will ensure all HMO patients have the ability to choose their own doctors, guaranteed access to emergency rooms, guaranteed access to specialty care, freedom from gag rules that prevent doctors from offering care, and the ability to hold their HMOs accountable.

"I urge my colleagues to sign onto this discharge petition.  The families of this country and my state of Connecticut should be able to make their medical decisions free of the heavy hand of HMO accountants."