Tags: 'Patients | Bill | Rights' | Duel | Begins

'Patients Bill of Rights' Duel Begins

Tuesday, 15 May 2001 12:00 AM

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Democrat sponsors of an earlier, costlier "patients' bill of rights" - dubbed by some a "lawyers' bill of delights" - complained that the version Bush supported would limit patients' ability to sue HMOs.

"The bill introduced today ... does not provide American families with the health care protections they deserve. It does not provide all Americans with patient protections, nor does it adequately hold health plans accountable if they harm or kill a patient," McCain said.

Opponents say the McCain approach would encourage expensive lawsuits and thus increase medical costs for everyone.

The new bill would allow patients to sue HMOs but creates procedural restrictions and financial limits on those suits.

Bush said Tuesday that the bill provided "strong patient protections."

"The bill also protects employers and their employees from unnecessary litigation that would increase health care premiums and force too many Americans to do without health insurance," Bush said.

McCain and Sens. John Edwards, D-N.C., Arlen Specter, R-Pa., Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I., Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Bob Graham, D-Fla., have their own bill that sets minimum standards patients can expect from HMOs and does not contain the limits on suits. "It does not deny Americans their right to seek redress through the courts when all other means of resolution are exhausted," McCain said.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Democrat sponsors of an earlier, costlier patients' bill of rights - dubbed by some a lawyers' bill of delights - complained that the version Bush supported would limit patients' ability to sue HMOs. The bill introduced today ... does...
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2001-00-15
Tuesday, 15 May 2001 12:00 AM
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