Hello! You are part of a community of millions who seek out Democracy Now! each month for ad-free daily news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for our in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power and lift up the voices of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We produce all of this news at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation. We do this without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How? This model of news depends on support from viewers and listeners like you. Today, less than 1% of our visitors support Democracy Now! with a donation each year. If even 3% of our website visitors donated just $10 per month, we could cover our basic operating expenses for a year. Pretty amazing right? If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make a monthly contribution.

Your Donation: $
Thursday, June 21, 2001 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | PREVIOUS: After White Police Officers Shoot and Kill An...
2001-06-21

As the Senate Debates a Patient’s Rights Bill, a Debate Between a Doctor Who Advocatesuniversal Health Care, and a Spokesperson for the Largest HMO Lobbying Association

download:   Audio Get CD/DVD More Formats
DONATE →
This is viewer supported news

The Senate began debate this week on legislation that would define the rights of patients in a health care systemincreasingly dominated by giant managed care corporations. The debate over patients rights has "triggered a lobbyingwar of near epic proportions," according to one watchdog group, reminiscent of the political battle over the modestClinton health care plan of 1993, which the insurance industry spent nearly $100 million trying to defeat.

The major bill under consideration in the Senate (sponsored by Senators Edward Kennedy, John Edwards, and JohnMcCain) would cover all Americans with private health insurance. It would guarantee patients access to emergencycare, medical specialists, clinical trials, and independent medical review of claims denials. The bill would alsogive patients broad rights to sue HMO’s and other insurers when health care is improperly denied. House Republicansyesterday introduced a competing bill giving patients more limited rights to sue.

The main Senate bill is opposed by the health insurance lobby, the giant law firms that represent them, and majorbusiness groups such as the US Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable. They say that an expansive patientsrights bill would drive up health care costs and even force small businesses to drop their health care plans.Supporters of the bill include the American Medical Association and an array of consumer and patient advocacy groups.They argue that patients need greater protection from giant health care corporations whose profits depend on limitingthe services that doctors can provide.

But many health care activists charge that the debate over patients’ rights doesn’t go far enough, and amounts to, asone put it, "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic."

The debate over the patients’ bill of rights is just as notable for what it leaves out. Polls have consistentlyshown that a majority of Americans favor a single-payer system of national health care, yet the media discussion ofpatients’ rights as did the debate over the Clinton health care plan in 1993 has excluded all discussion of universalhealth care. The United States spends nearly twice as much as Europe and Canada on health care yet provides theworst care in the industrialized world for the poor and uninsured.

Guests:

  • Jamie Court, Executive Director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, and author of??Making a Killing: HMOs and the Threat to Your Health.
  • Susan Pisano, Vice President for Communication for the AAHP, primary representative organization and thelargest for managed care in the US. More than 1,000 members, provide care for 150 million.
  • Quentin Young, National Coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program, former head of theAmerican Public Health Association.

Related links:

??
??
??

????
??

Recent Shows More

Full News Hour

Stories


Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.