Local News

Edwards Co-Sponsors Patients' Rights Legislation

Posted February 5, 2001

— The battle lines are being drawn for another fight over patients' rights.

Sens. John Edwards (D-N.C) and John McCain (R-Az.) are co-sponsors of a new bill that they call "The Patients' Bill of Rights." Edwards expects a fight from the insurance lobby.

"For years, the law has been on the side of the big HMOs and insurance companies," he said in a Tuesday interview.

Edwards thinks the legislation would protect patients' rights that he believes have been lost over the past decade. He also says the legislation would allow women to have easier access to their OB-GYN.

"They have more control over their doctor," he said. "If they need a specialist, they can have direct access to a specialist."

The senator also says his proposal would speed up the appeals process for insurance claims that are denied. He believes there is enough support in the Senate and House to pass the legislation quickly. Edwards also believes President Bush would sign it.

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