The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) said today that the results of the November 2000 election make it far more likely that bi-partisan HMO patients’ rights legislation will make it to the next U.S. president’s desk in 2001.
The bi-partisan, Norwood-Dingell legislation passed the House of Representatives during this session of Congress but failed in the U.S. Senate by one vote. Senators voting against the measure included senators Spencer Abraham (bested in Michigan by a Norwood-Dingell supporter), John Ashcroft (defeated in Missouri by a Norwood-Dingell supporter), Slade Gorton (in a still undecided race in Washington with an HMO reformer), William Roth (defeated in Delaware by a Norwood-Dingell supporter), and Rod Gramms (beaten in Minnesota by an HMO reformer).
“The gains in the U.S. Senate for those who have endorsed bipartisan HMO reform means that the Norwood-Dingell legislation will go to the new president’s desk, unless GOP leaders are willing to risk a filibuster and the political perils it entails to defeat bipartisan HMO reform,” said Jamie Court, executive director of FTCR. “HMO reform is becoming the populist dynamite in the political arena.”