House and Senate conferees expect to take up the issue of patient rights’ legislation in late February, with an aim of action on the issue by mid-April—before Congress’ Easter recess. The House and Senate passed widely different versions of patient rights’ legislation during the last session. The conference committee designated to reconcile the differences had not met on the matter by mid-February, despite grass roots support for legislation on the matter.
The House bill, which was passed over the objections of the chamber’s leadership on Oct. 7, 1999, drew the support of a diverse group of physicians, nurses, unions, and consumer groups. The Senate bill is considered much weaker and provides fewer protections for fewer people.
- Copyright © 2000 by American Heart Association