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For Immediate Release
July 12, 1999

Lauren Asher, 202/986-2600


Statement by Judith L. Lichtman, President
National Partnership for Women & Families

The Senate has before it an historic opportunity to make the future of managed care brighter for all Americans. That future begins with passing strong, enforceable patient protections. During the Senate debate that begins today, there will be many opportunities for forward-looking Senators to do just that.

Americans want change. They want Congress to put the people's health before insurers' profits. They want to be able to go to the nearest emergency room when crisis strikes. To stay in hospitals until their doctor says they are ready to go home. To be allowed to see the specialists and participate in the clinical trials that can save their lives. They want women to be allowed to get ob-gyn services without jumping through hoops. They want to hold managed care plans accountable when they withhold or limit needed care.

Big business and the insurance lobby are spending millions of dollars to squelch managed care reform -- reform the public has clearly said it wants. It's time for Congress to take a stand and vote for the common-sense protections every patient needs. America will be watching to see who stands for patients and who stands for industry profits.

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The National Partnership for Women & Families (formerly the Women's Legal Defense Fund) is one of more than 180 leading consumer, provider, labor, and disabilities groups that support strong, enforceable patient protections. The National Partnership is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes fairness in the workplace, quality health care, and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.

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