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Nadler Calls on Bush, Congressional GOP to Stop Obstruction of Real Patients' Rights Bill

Washington, DC, June 21, 2004
Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) today called on Congress to approve a patients' rights bill, following the Supreme Court decision that prohibits states from allowing patients to sue Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) for making harmful medical decisions. Nadler, who is a co-sponsor of the Patients' Bill of Rights (H.R. 4628), made the following statement on the need for the legislation:

"HMOs must be held accountable for medical decisions that harm patients. Yet the President and his Congressional allies continue to block a meaningful patients' rights bill that will let doctors and patients make medical decisions, not insurance companies. The Supreme Court's ruling shows that Congress must act now to protect patients from the irresponsible decisions made by HMOs that can result in injuries or even death.

"During the 2000 campaign, George W. Bush touted the Texas law protecting patients' rights and stated that people should be able to take their HMOs to court for making harmful medical decisions. Despite the President's previous show of support, his Administration argued against the Texas law before the Supreme Court -- showing the President's alarming change of opinion of the law.

"The President's duplicity on this issue is appalling. Americans deserve protection from bad medical decisions made by insurance companies, not political doublespeak. It is time for the President to own up to his broken campaign promises and urge the Congress to pass real reform, not legislation that will award his wealthy campaign contributors in the health insurance business."

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