Reform by Signing Internet Petition

Press Release
April 9, 1999

Daschle Urges South Dakotans to Voice Their Support For Health Care
Reform by Signing Internet Petition

"Patients' Bill of Rights" Petition Available on Daschle's Home Page

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Daschle today urged South Dakotans to add their name to an Internet petition that urges Congress to immediately pass the "Patients Bill of Rights" and establish real patient protections for all Americans. The petition is available on Daschle's Internet home page

Over 5,000 people have already signed the on-line petition in support of the "Patients Bill of Rights," which Daschle introduced in January as one of his top legislative priorities.

"By signing the petition, Americans are stating loudly and clearly that they believe doctors and not insurance company bureaucrats should make medical decisions," Daschle said. "Millions of Americans have already had their insurance companies interfere in the doctor-patient relationship by denying treatment or payment for something the doctor recommended. For the sake of these people and the 161 million other Americans covered by managed care health plans, we need to pass real patient protections now."

Daschle has been pushing Congress to consider the "Patients Bill of Rights" when it comes back into session next week. "How many more people need to be denied needed medical care and emergency service before Congress takes action? Congress should stop blocking this important reform and take action now to protect our families," he said. Daschle said the "Patients' Bill of Rights" will: * Guarantee patient access to needed medical and emergency room services. * Allow patients to appeal to an independent body a medical decision made by their Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). * Hold health plans accountable for medical decisions that lead to patient harm.

The "Patients' Bill of Rights" is supported by the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association and nearly 200 other major medical an consumer groups across the country.

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