‘Rights’ Battle Far From Over
Now that the U.S. Senate has passed a Patients’ Bill of Rights, the battle over how much liability to impose on health plans and employers shifts to the more conservative House, and then to an inevitable showdown in a Congressional conference committee.
Given that George W. Bush probably does not want to be portrayed as the president who denied people protections against the managed care bureaucrats we all love to hate, chances are a compromise will emerge that the White House can live with.
Therefore, we will, before long, have a law that guarantees everyone reasonable access to emergency care and specialists, as well as an independent review if a plan denies a claim or refuses a treatment.
People will also probably have at least a limited right to sue their health plans and, under certain conditions, their employers as well. In theory, this makes sense. After all, shouldn’t we have the right to sue someone who harms us, either through negligence or incompetence? It’s the American way.