[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[April 22, 1998]
[Page 601]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

[[Page 601]]

Statement on the Kaiser Family Foundation Report on the Patients' Bill 
of Rights
April 22, 1998

    Today the Kaiser Family Foundation released a new report that 
confirms our longstanding belief that the cost of the Quality 
Commission's Patients' Bill of Rights, which I have endorsed, is modest 
and well worth the protections it would provide. By affirming the 
Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) estimates, the Kaiser report 
convincingly rebuts the scare tactics that some have used to undermine 
bipartisan efforts in the Congress to pass a Patients' Bill of Rights 
this year.
    Many Americans today lack the protections necessary to ensure high 
quality health care. They may not be able to see the specialists they 
need or to get emergency care wherever and whenever a medical emergency 
arises. They may not be able to talk freely with doctors and nurses 
about all the medical options available, not only the cheapest. They may 
have no place to go to present grievances about their health care. The 
Quality Commission's Patients' Bill of Rights guarantees Americans these 
and other commonsense protections.
    The Kaiser report reaffirms recent estimates by the CBO that these 
protections would increase health insurance premiums less than one 
percent (less than $3 per family per month). The improvement in the 
quality of health care that will result from these protections is more 
than worth the very modest premium increases projected by both Kaiser 
and CBO.
    This report again shows the utter groundlessness of claims that a 
Patients' Bill of Rights will significantly increase health care costs. 
With this new information, there is no excuse left for inaction. I 
therefore call on Congress again to send me legislation that gives 
Americans the health care protections they need and deserve. I look 
forward to working with Members on both sides of the aisle to ensure 
that we pass a strong Patients' Bill of Rights this year.