[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[April 29, 1998]
[Page 640]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on Bipartisan Support for Patients' Bill of Rights Legislation
April 29, 1998

    I am extremely pleased that today at least nine Republican Members 
of Congress joined as cosponsors to H.R. 3605, the ``Patients' Bill of 
Rights Act of 1998.'' In announcing their support for this legislation, 
they are sending a strong signal that it is unacceptable for this 
Congress to adjourn this year without passing a strong patients' rights 
    I commend Representatives Ganske, 
Bass, Forbes, 
Fox, Gilchrest, 
Graham, Horn, 
LaTourette, and Leach for their leadership, and I look forward to working with 
them. We have learned again and again that when we reach across party 
lines we can pass important legislation that improves our Nation's 
health care system. Making the ``Patients' Bill of Rights Act of 1998'' 
bipartisan provides new momentum towards ensuring that a Patients' Bill 
of Rights will become the law of the land.
    The ``Patients' Bill of Rights Act of 1998,'' recently introduced by 
Representative Dingell, provides long overdue protections that Americans 
need to renew their confidence in the Nation's rapidly changing health 
care system. It allows patients to see the specialists they need, to get 
emergency care wherever and whenever a medical emergency arises, to talk 
freely with doctors and nurses about all the medical options available--
not only the cheapest, and to appeal when they have grievances about 
their health care.
    I urge Congress to send me legislation that gives Americans the 
health care protections they need and deserve. I look forward to working 
with Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to ensure that we 
pass a strong Patients' Bill of Rights this year.