Legislative Branch

106th Congress

Patients' Bill of Rights Comparison | Text of Patient Bill of Rights (H.R. 358) and (S. 6)


The U.S. Congress is likely to consider patient protection legislation in 1999. ANA is actively supporting strong, comprehensive, and enforceable legislation. A Senate committee approved a weak version that would not protect from retaliation nurses who advocate for their patients; would not protect the more than 100 million people whose plans are not regulated under Federal law; has inadequate appeals mechanisms; and would not hold health plans accountable for decisions they make which harm patients. It does not ensure that patients have access to a full range of health care providers. The House Commerce Committee may soon consider patient protection legislation, when many of the same issues are likely to be addressed.

Members of both the House and the Senate must hear that nurses, as the nation's foremost patient advocates, want to see strong, comprehensive patient protection legislation enacted this year. The following issues are addressed by the real Patients' Bill of Rights and must be contained in any bill passed by Congress:

  • Protection for providers who advocate for patients
  • Protection of patient access and choice of provider by banning discrimination against providers on the basis of type of license
  • Protection for all patients with private insurance
  • HMOs cannot arbitrarily interfere with clinical decisions
  • Effective independent external appeals
  • Ability to hold plans accountable
  • Real emergency room access
  • Prohibition on gag rules and improper financial incentives
  • Guaranteed access to specialists
  • Access to out-of-network providers
  • Guarantee network meets needs
  • Specialist can coordinate care for chronically ill patients
  • Standing referrals to specialists
  • Access to Ob/Gyn services
  • Continuity of care
  • Access to needed prescription drugs
  • Access to clinical trials
  • Information on plan quality, exclusions, and charges

As a registered nurse, I urge you to support S. 6 and H.R. 358, the real Patients' Bill of Rights Act. I support strong, comprehensive patient protection legislation which includes protections from retaliation for nurses who advocate for their patients.

Return to U.S. Federal Affairs.

Tool bar

| Sitemap | Home | Feedback | Join ANA |