CONGRESS MUST PASS PATIENTS' BILL OF RIGHTS -- (House of Representatives - October 05, 1999)

[Page: H9311]


   (Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend her remarks.)

   Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, just recently we read a report that tells us that 43 million Americans are uninsured and without health insurance. Shame on America and shame on this Congress. That is why among many things that we have to do to include those who are uninsured, we must pass the Patients' Bill of Rights.

   Tragically in my own State of Texas under Republican leadership, Texas is number one with uninsured persons with no coverage to protect them and provide for health insurance. Shame on Texas and shame on the Republican leadership in the State of Texas.

   But the Patients' Bill of Rights will give minimal relief to those who are covered. It provides access to any emergency room. It will stop the closed-door policy of an emergency room because of nonapproval, allow women to have OB/GYNs as their primary caregiver, and will give relief to sue HMOs, not frivolously but if they decide to determine a patient's medical destiny and they are hurt.

   Mr. Speaker, does it mean patients will sue their employer? Of course not. Does it mean this will work? Yes, because it worked in the State of Texas.

   We must pass the Patients' Bill of Rights, otherwise more shame on America.