U.S. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: Jennifer Frost/Maureen Knightly

February 4, 2000


Iowa Senator Has Been Calling for the Conferees to Meet Since November

WASHINGTON --- U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today announced that the conference committee to work out difference between the House and Senate on the Patients' Bill of Rights will finally meet Thursday, February 10. Harkin, who is a Senate conferee on the legislation, is a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

"Hardworking American families have waited long enough," said Harkin. "It is time to get to work and produce a bill that puts patients and their doctors in the driver's seat when it comes to their health care. American families have been sitting in the waiting room for this legislation too long."

In October, the House of Representatives passed the Patients' Bill of Rights which provides strong health care protections to patients against HMOs. In early 1999, the Senate passed much weaker patient legislation. The Senate appointed conferees in October, the House appointed conferees to the bill last week. Harkin is the only conferee from Iowa.


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