PATIENTS’ RIGHTS: Senators Vote No
In "a near party-line vote of 51-47," the Senate yesterday rejected a nonbinding resolution "calling on the Senate to pass legislation to establish a patients' 'bill of rights,'" CongressDaily/A.M. reports. Three Republicans -- Sens. Alfonse D'Amato (NY), Lauch Faircloth (NC) and Arlen Specter (PA) -- voted for the "sense of the Senate" resolution, which was introduced by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA). Kennedy's resolution "included a long list of provisions from the bicameral Democratic bill" introduced this week, provisions that Kennedy said would enact "what the president's commission said everyone should have."
GOP Counter Move
Following the rejection of Kennedy's resolution, the Senate voted unanimously in favor an amendment introduced by Majority Whip Don Nickles (R-OK) "calling for the Senate not to pass any legislation that would 'make health insurance unaffordable for working families and increase the number of uninsured Americans.'" The Nickles resolution also called on the Senate to oppose legislation that would "divert limited health care resources away from serving patients to paying lawyers and hiring new bureaucrats, or impose political consideration on clinical decision" (4/3).