Sunday, March 21, 2004

Bush Turns His Back on Fight for Patients' Rights

Four years ago, then-Gov. George W. Bush cast himself as a champion of patients' rights. Pressed by Al Gore in their final presidential debate on whether patients should be allowed to sue health plans for wrongfully withholding care, he pointed to a pioneering Texas law passed on his watch. "I brought Republicans and Democrats together … to get a patients' bill of rights," Bush said. "We are one of the first states that said you can sue an HMO for denying you proper coverage."

But President Bush, it seems, has changed his mind. The Texas law he championed is now before the U.S. Supreme Court, and this week the administration will ask that the justices strike it down.