|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:|
June 23, 1999
|CONTACT: Johanna Ramos-Boyer|
U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) today joined Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Ted Kennedy (D-MA) at a press conference to challenge the Republicans in the Senate to take action and take up legislation to provide Americans with a Patients' Bill of Rights. The Senators addressed the policy and politics behind the Patients' Bill of Rights and specifically focused on protections for women and children, access to specialty care and continuity of care.
Senate Democrats are on the floor of the Senate challenging the Republican majority to address meaningful legislation that would provide Americans with basic protections and the right to health care. The Republican response to date has been to prevent legislation on a Patients Bill of Rights from being addressed by the Senate. Democrats have responded with common sense arguments in favor of a Patients' Bill of Rights that addresses the day-to-day needs of Americans.
"We are at the end of the 20th Century and it was in this Century that there were more advancements in science than in any other Century in recorded history," said Senator Mikulski. "It was in this century that we discovered the pharmaceuticals and procedures to save people's lives. But as the century comes to an end, insurance company gatekeepers are preventing Americans citizens from taking advantyage of these very lifesaving approaches that could save their lives."
"If we are really going to take America into the 21st century then we need to make sure Americans have the right and access to the lifesaving care and treatments that were found right here in United States of America," continued Senator Mikulski.
The Democratic Patients' Bill of Rights provides fundamental protections for all privately insured Americans and Senate Democrats will continue to fight to establish reasonable consumer protections to put medical decisions in the exam room and not the board room. In sharp contrast, the Republicans have introduced legislation that provides few patient protections and too many loopholes for HMO's.