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AFL-CIO Launches New National TV and Radio Ad Campaign Urging Representatives to Support Bi-Partisan Patients' Bill of Rights Legislation
October 4, 1999

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Washington, D.C. — As part of a broad grassroots push to enact meaningful HMO reform, the AFL-CIO today launched a new TV and radio ad campaign urging House members in 16 districts to support H.R. 2723, the bi-partisan Patients' Bill of Rights legislation sponsored by Representatives Charles Norwood (R-GA) and John Dingell (D-MI).

The legislation, which has been fiercely opposed by health insurance companies, is supported by more than 300 doctors, nurses, and consumer groups — including the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Partnership for Women and Families, and the Consumers Union.

The ads urge working families to call their member of Congress and ask "Which side are you on?"

"It's time— past time— for Congress to take action to make sure that doctors and not insurance company bureaucrats make our medical decisions," said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney.

"The basic consumer protections contained in the Norwood-Dingell proposal represent common sense answers to the real problems experienced by working families across the nation," he continued

H.R. 2723 would extend patient protections to the 161 million Americans in private health plans, rather than excluding — as the Senate did earlier this year — over 100 million people who are in "self-funded" health care plans. The bill also provides for a timely, independent external review and allows patients to hold health plans accountable when their decisions injure or even kill patients. It would protect health care workers from retaliation from their employers when they act as advocates on behalf of patients, and ensure that individuals have access to emergency room care, prescription drugs, and can participate in clinical trials.

For Information: Naomi Walker 202/637-5093

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