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Patients' Rights Might Not Pass Until Next Year

MANAGED CARE November 2001. © MediMedia USA
News and Commentary

Patients' Rights Might Not Pass Until Next Year

MANAGED CARE November 2001. ©MediMedia USA

One of the many indelible images after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington was of members of Congress standing on the steps of the Capitol, singing "God Bless America."

Indeed, one of the surreal manifestations of national crisis has been the cooperation between congressional Republicans and Democrats and the White House to address the threat of terrorism.

Now, Congress seems to be inching back toward more familiar territory — agreeing to disagree — at least on some domestic issues, such as patients' rights.

"We can all look good when we agree," House Majority Leader Dick Armey told the Los Angeles Times. "The question is, how good can we look when we have our disagreements?"

The Washington Post reports that the only major bill not linked to the war on terrorism that is likely to reach President Bush's desk is his education-reform proposal.

Bush, however, also has urged lawmakers to pass a patients-rights bill, but there are real doubts about whether that could happen this year.