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The environment for passage of a Patients' Bill of Rights this year significantly improved on October 6, 2000, when Senator John Ashcroft (R-MO), in a joint press conference with the AMA and Representative Charlie Norwood (R-GA), officially joined the ranks of those Senators and US Representatives who support new bipartisan legislation that would provide true patient protections.

Senator Ashcroft's support for this legislation represents the first time that a majority–in both the House and the Senate–support a real patients' bill of rights

Senator Ashcroft stated: "We must pass patient protection legislation that puts patients and their doctors in charge of health care decisions, holds HMOs accountable for abuses, and protects Americans' access to affordable, high quality health care."

This is excellent news for organized medicine as we head in the final days of the 106th Congress. Senator Ashcroft's support clearly signals that this legislation is very much alive and will likely be considered before Congress adjourns and members return home to campaign for reelection. The need for a meaningful patients' bill of rights is clearly an issue that resonates with voters–and cannot be ignored any longer.

In addition to patient protection legislation, Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) are also expected to be a part of the debate over managed care reform in the 106th Congress. See the latest activity concerning MSAs here.

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More information on patient protection legislation from the 106th Congress is available by clicking here.
Letter from AMA and various state medical and specialty associations re: Medicare Payments to HMOs vs. Meaningful Patients' Rights Legislation
   October 17, 2000
AMA Letter to Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) re: Compromise Proposals on Patients' Rights Legislation
   October 26, 2000
Letter to Rep. Jim DeMint (R-SC) re: "Patient Freedom Act of 2000"
   October 5, 2000
Letter to Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) Thanking Him for His Continued Support of Real Patient Protections
   October 2, 2000
Letter to Sen. Don Nickles (R-OK) Addressing Flaws in the Nickles Patients' Rights Amendment
   August 25, 2000
Letter to House of Representatives Outlining Flaws in Patients' Rights Amendment Offered by Sen. Don Nickles (R-OK)
   July 13, 2000
Letter to the Four Republican Senators Who Opposed the Weak Patients' Rights Amendment and Supported the Norwood-Dingell Patients' Rights Language
   July 12, 2000
Patients' Rights Legislative Information
Letter to All Members of Congress Urging Passage of Patients' Bill of Rights In Light of Pegram v. Herdrich Decision
Critique of the Nickles Patients' Rights Amendment
   July 12, 2000
Joint Specialty Letter Outlining Essential Provisions That Must Be Included in a Patients' Rights Conference Report
   January 28, 2000
Letter Outlining Essential Provisions That Must be Included in a Patients' Rights Conference Report
   February 9, 2000
H.R. 2723, the "Bipartisan Consensus Managed Care Improvement Act of 1999"
AMA Urges Passage of Comprehensive Patients' Rights Legislation
   July 12, 1999
Importance of Federal Patient Protections for All Patients
Letter Expressing Concern Over Cost Estimates by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) of S.6, the Democratic Patients' Bill of Rights
   May 26, 1999
AMA Expresses Appreciation for Rep. Kelly's Efforts to Guarantee Inpatient Health Coverage for Mastectomies, Lumpectomies, or Lymph Node Dissections
   May 17, 1999
AMA Commends Chairman Bliley for His Efforts on Forging Compromise Draft Legislation on Patients' Rights and Calling for Congressional Action
   May 12, 1999
AMA Commends the Patients' Rights Draft Legislation by Rep. Greg Ganske, MD (R-IA), Rep. Tom Coburn, MD (R-OK), and Rep. Charlie Norwood, DDS (R-GA)
   May 12, 1999
Summary of the "Consensus Managed Care Improvement Act"
Archer/Lipinski Congressional "Dear Colleague" Letter on the "Bipartisan Medical Savings Account Effectiveness Act Of 1999."
   April 6, 1999
Medical Necessity
   March 2, 1999

Last updated: Jun 07, 2001
Content provided by: AMA in Washington

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