June 23, 1999
Today, Rep. Stark (D-CA) joined over 100 of his colleagues in signing a discharge petition to force floor consideration in the House of Representatives of HR 358, The Patients' Bill of Rights.
"Last year the Patients' Bill of Rights came within five votes of passage and this year we have 181 cosponsors. Managed care reform is consistently the number one health concern I hear about from my constituents. Yet, the Republican leadership continues to block consideration of this important legislation by the House of Representatives," said Rep. Stark.
"It's not like Congress' schedule has been so crowded that we haven't had time to schedule floor consideration of managed care reform," commented Rep. Stark. "Instead, we've now got one Committee beginning to work on a substandard approach to the issue. They would pass a number of small, issue- specific bills and never even deal with the comprehensive problems in the managed care arena," Rep. Stark continued.
Rep. Stark went on to say that, "The Republicans' tactics are specifically aimed at avoiding the number one issue in true managed care reform: health plan liability. Until health plans are held liable for medical decision-making -- just like doctors and hospitals are today -- we will not achieve real managed care reform."
"The Republicans are more worried about their campaign contributors in the health insurance and managed care industry than they are the working people of this country. That is why we have seen no real movement on managed care reform in this Congress. The discharge petition I signed today is an attempt to force them to move forward with an issue that will otherwise never see the light of day in this Congress," concluded Rep. Stark.
CONTACT: Debbie Curtis (202) 225-5065