Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Senate passed a new health care bill last night that would increase patient access to health care, according to U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, a member of the Republican health care task force.
Enzi said the Republican Patients Bill of Rights Plus, which passed the Senate 53-47, is a victory for Americans.
"Our bill allows states to continue to tailor health care to fit their residents, while giving workers in large, self-insured companies the protections they need," said Enzi. "We have averted, for now at least, the threat of a nationalized, Washington-based health care system that would further loft health care costs and increase the number of uninsured by more than 1.8 million Americans ."
The Patients Bill of Rights Plus:
- Protects patients in rural areas;
- Allows more people access to health insurance through medical savings accounts;
- Allows the self-employed to deduct 100 percent of their health insurance cost from their taxes;
- Helps patients by requiring health plans to provide a wide range of comparative information;
- Improves health care quality by expanding research and improving distribution of information on state-of-the-art treatment to doctors around the country;
- Protects the unprotected by providing for patients not covered by existing law a bill of rights, including guaranteed emergency room care, direct access to an OB-GYN or pediatrician and the ability to see the doctor of their choice.
The House of Representative is currently considering patient protection legislation.
Enzi said the president has threatened a veto, favoring the Democratic plan that would put Washington in control of a nationalized health care network, opening the lawsuit floodgate and raising health care costs by more than 6 percent above the current level.