, 2000

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JUNE 23, 1999  5:14 PM
National Partnership for Women & Families
Margaret Sotham, 202/986-2600
Senate Leadership Gambles with Americans' Health
WASHINGTON - June 23 -
Statement by Judith L. Lichtman, President
National Partnership for Women & Families
at the Patientsí Bill of Rights Press Conference,
The Capitol

I am pleased to be here as the leader of more than 180 organizations supporting REAL patient protections. These extraordinarily diverse organizations represent millions of Americans who want meaningful and enforceable patient protections -- basic protections every woman, man, and child in this country deserves.

For the mother seeking medical care for her sick child, the obstacles created by managed care add frustration and heartache. The denials and delays of managed care create a particular burden for the woman negotiating health care for herself and her family. Congress has the power to ease this burden by enacting real, enforceable patient protections, the kind found only in S. 6, the Patientsí Bill of Rights.

Unfortunately, the Senate leadership is playing an elaborate procedural shell game with our nationís health care. They have refused to engage in a full and fair debate, purposely stalling passage of comprehensive managed care reforms.

Americans are tired of elected officials gambling with their health. They want to know that their health, and their childrenís, is protected. The Senate leadership is betting the public can be fooled with phony substitutes and fancy rhetoric. Thatís a dangerous wager -- for all of us.


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