HEALTH CARE POLITICS: Clinton Touts HMO Reform
On the day before the congressional midterm elections, President Clinton "staged yet another White House ceremony to highlight a favorite issue, in this case proposed restrictions on health maintenance organizations," the Washington Post reports (Baker, 11/3). He said, "Look, folks, we've got to fix this. And this election, in no small measure, will be a referendum on whether we will put people over politics, the public interest over special interest, the health of our people over a very short-sighted definition of the bottom line." Clinton went on to urge voters to "go to the polls tomorrow in large numbers and ... vote in a way that sends a signal loud and clear that America needs a real patients' bill of rights" (White House release, 11/2). At the White House event, Clinton "was backed by Dr. Robert Wienmann," president of the Union of American Physicians and Dentists. Wienmann "echoed Clinton's contention that patients too often are subject to health care decisions driven by profit motives rather than by medical judgments."
White House Scorecard
The President also released a report yesterday detailing the administration's efforts to improve patient protections in health plans serving federal workers. The report noted that the Office of Personnel Management "has ordered the 285 participating health plans to come into compliance with the patients' bill of rights" (Nando Times, 11/2). Click here to hear a report by NPR's Julie Rovner on how managed care reform is playing in the midterm elections.