Cyber-Lobbyists Blitz Congress with e-mail Demanding a "Real
Patients' Bill of Rights"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 6, 1999
Nancey McCann (703) 591-2220
Robert B. Raible (202) 789-5166
As the House of Representatives debates managed care
reform, people across the country continue to bombard congressional
offices with e-mail messages demanding that Congress take action to
protect patients from abuses by managed health care plans.
Visitors to the Patient Access Coalition's grassroots action
Web site (http://congress.nw.dc.us/pac) are e-mailing their members of
Congress to demand:
· the option of choosing out-of-network health
· timely access to care from specialists;
· a fair
timely and independent appeals process;
· a consumer information
· a ban on financial incentives to limit or deny needed
· a ban on "gag" clauses that inhibit patient-provider
Many people are appending personal stories. The following
are samples of the hundreds of messages that are flowing into Congress
"I have a friend who has cancer and was refused treatment by
his Florida HMO. It cost him his business, and soon will cost him his
--Ron Kitzmiller, Merrill, Mich.
"Insurance companies must not be allowed to blackmail
businesses and their employees by threatening to raise health insurance
premiums! And the money saved and gained through managed care must not go
exclusively into corporate profits and the pockets of insurance company
--Lorraine Tracton, Fort Washington, Md.
"[HMOs] send a loud message to all of us that their
bottom line is money, not the welfare of the sick and infirm. The
patient's welfare must and will take first priority in this issue. Without
a healthy nation, there will be no nation."
--Linda Framnes, Plantation, Fla.
"I will not allow any insurance company to dictate my
medical care. What is wrong with this country? It is a sad time for
Americans when they cannot be treated by a physician of their choice. I
guess it all comes down to dollars and cents. How pathetic! Please vote
for a real Patients' Bill of Rights."
--Lucy Miranda, Tampa, Fla.
"We had pretty good medical care in this country until
the HMOs got so powerful. Now those who have health insurance generally
pay more for less coverage. Many people cannot choose their own doctors
and have little or no say in their own health care. It is socialized
medicine without the benefits."
--Alice Wilkinson, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
"Pay attention to the example of Texas and not the scare
tactics of the HMO lobby about 'Trial Lawyers' and loss of insurance!"
--Buddie Leib, San Diego, Calif.
"Every year I pay more and more for medical coverage and
get less and less service. The whole medical industry is out of control.
I'm really getting tired of bean counters making important medical
decisions concerning my family's health. Please make a REAL patients' Bill
of Rights a priority."
--Tim Campbell, Bay Shore, N.Y.
"I think the original intent of HMO's was good, however,
when I have to wait ten days to get referrals and not to the doctors of my
choice, I feel the HMOs do not have the patient's best interest at heart."
--Sharon Ronnow, Reno, Nev.
"HMOs have so much control on whether I can take my
family to a specialist or not. I don't just run to a doctor because I need
a good chat! […] Since my husband pays for health insurance in his
paycheck and I pay at the doctor's office I expect better services and
treatment from the HMOs."
--Sheri Hodge, Lawrenceville, Ga.
"Decisions on health care should not be left up to the
insurance carriers and their employees."
--Mary Archey, Pittsfield, Mass.
The Patient Access Coalition represents more than 130
patient advocacy and provider groups fighting for comprehensive and
meaningful patient protection legislation.