REPUBLICAN MANAGED-CARE BILL -- (House of Representatives - September 29, 1999)

[Page: H8972]


   (Mr. RODRIGUEZ asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Mr. Speaker, making sure that everyone has an opportunity to see the doctor of their choice, that is one of the main principles that we are here for. One of the main things each and every one out there, each American, wants to be able to see the doctor of their choice, especially if they are paying for their own medication and their own health care.

   For the last 2 years, we fought over the issue of managed-care reform, and we need to make sure that every American has that opportunity to see the doctor of their choice.

   It is interesting that now as we come to battle on this issue that the other side is beginning to talk about coming together, and we do need to come together, but the reality is that we are skeptical about their proposals. We have the managed-care bill, the patients' bill of rights, that is there to make sure that we can come back and make the managed-care companies, the HMOs, accountable to our constituents. I want to make sure that as we move forward that we do the right thing. Let us stop wasting time. It is time that we come together and we make sure that we are responsive. Instead of reinventing the wheel and derailing things, we have to make sure that the majority is held accountable for health care in this country.