(Ms. DELAURO asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend her remarks.)
Ms. DELAURO. Madam Speaker, today we have a historic opportunity to pass HMO reform that will ensure that medical decisions are made by doctors and patients and not by insurance companies.
These are sensible patient protections that all parents should have for their families. But to pass them, we are being forced to cross a mine field. The Republican leadership has teamed up with the insurance industry to obstruct and weaken the Patients' Bill of Rights. The Republican leadership has set up a series of amendments that will undermine the basic provisions of this bill, a bipartisan bill. And I stress bipartisan.
The Patients' Bill of Rights simply ensures that medical decisions are being made by doctors and hospitals and that HMOs are accountable for damages caused by wrongful denials. These provisions are already working for families in California and in Texas; now every family deserves them.
I call on my colleagues to defeat the poison pill amendments, pass the Norwood-Dingell bill, the Patients' Bill of Rights, which today's New York Times says, and I quote, ``offers the best place to start in getting strong protections for millions of American families.''