April 9, 1999
CONTACT:Johanna Ramos-Boyer

Over 2.4 Million Marylanders Would Benefit from Democratic Managed Care Reforms

Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) today urged Marylanders to join her and the millions of Americans across the country in signing the Democratic Patients Bill of Rights (S. 6) online petition.

"Health care in this country needs to be about patients, not profits. The Patients Bill of Rights is a Democratic priority and it is one of my top priorities," said Senator Mikulski. "By signing the online petition, we are sending a strong and unified message that we need to work together to pass a Patients Bill of Rights with meaningful reform that will provide Marylanders and all Americans with better health care access and quality."

"I believe that one of my most important responsibilities in the Senate is to meet the day-to-day needs of the American people. One of those needs is the right to quality health care," said the Senator. "We need health care that makes sure health care decisions are made by the doctors in the exam room, not the executives in the boardroom."

In Maryland alone, the Democratic Patients Bill of Rights will provide over 2.4 million Marylanders with new protections that guarantee access to specialty care outside of network care, allow specialists to serve as primary care providers, eliminate the need for multiple referrals to specialists, permit access to non-formulary prescriptions and give patients the right to sue health plans for negligence.

"I am proud to note that my state of Maryland has been on the forefront of this issue, having already enacted some of the changes that are part of the Democratic agenda, such as improved emergency room access, a grievance process, and access for women to OB/GYN care as primary care, " said Senator Mikulski. "But there is still a lot of work to be done and working together we can make change."

To get more information and add your name to the Democratic Patients Bill of Rights online petition, visit the Families USA web site at