Patients’ Rights Debate Will be Revived, Editorial Says
Patients' rights legislation may be "on life support," but it will likely not die because voters will "demand" that the issue be given "attention in the coming election cycles," a Los Angeles Times editorial says. The "plodding progress" on a patients' bill of rights "came to a halt" after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, but the legislation will likely be revived soon, the editorial says. "Critical though the war on terrorism is and will remain, it won't be long before Americans notice that inadequate health care cuts down far more people in the United States than Al Qaeda could dream of slaying, and they'll again clamor for some simple protections," the editorial states. Politicians may "have little enthusiasm" for revisiting the "sometimes brutal and exhausting" debate over patients' rights, but the Times says they must do it "[e]ventually." Patients' rights legislation may have been "pushed ... off the legislative agenda," but "[a]stute legislators of various stripes ... stand poised with legislative defibrillators, ready to revive some compromise version of reforms that tens of millions of American HMO members would rather not see die from neglect," the editorial concludes (Los Angeles Times, 1/13).