-- For Immediate Release --
For information call: 202-224-3041
GRAHAM, CHAFEE, BIPARTISAN COALITION URGE SENATE TO
ON H.M.O. REFORM
Senators Offer Bipartisan Plan to Improve Health Care for 164 Million
WASHINGTON -- As partisan debate over H.M.O. reform reached a fever pitch on the
Senator floor, a bipartisan coalition led by U.S. Senators Bob Graham (D-FL) and
John Chafee (R-RI) today offered a way out of the logjam: a compromise Patients'
Bill of Rights that offers strong patient protections -- and moderates or
eliminates the most controversial elements of the partisan managed care reform
Graham and Chafee -- who were joined by U.S. Senators Joe Lieberman (D-CT),
Arlen Specter (R-PA), Max Baucus (D-MT), Chuck Robb (D-VA), and others --
announced that they would try and offer their bipartisan plan as an amendment on
the Senate floor. Debate on the H.M.O. Patients' Bill Of Rights is scheduled to
conclude late Thursday.
"This is our last, best chance to put patient protections before politics,"
said Graham. "If the Senate doesn't act in a bipartisan fashion, we will have
doomed 164 million Americans to yet another year of inadequate managed care
The Graham/Chafee plan has been praised by medical and consumer groups like
the National Association of Children's Hospitals, American Cancer Society,
American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, and Families
USA. It would:
Graham, Chafee, and the bipartisan coalition originally
introduced their proposal in July of 1998, during the 105th Congress, and
re-introduced it in February of 1999.
- Provide strong protections for the 164 million privately insured americans
- Strengthen federal enforcement of managed care rules
- Establish a fair Appeals process for patients denied coverage for
- provide a limited right to seek compensatory damages in federal court
- guarantee that patients have sufficient information in making health
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