George W. Bush photo

Remarks at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital and an Exchange With Reporters in Fairfax, Virginia

July 09, 2001

Patients' Bill of Rights

The President. Thank you all for coming. Knox, thank you very much for setting up the meeting with Knox and hospital officials, nurses, former patients. We had a great discussion about the need for our Nation to pass legislation with America's patients in mind, that the whole core of a good bill recognizes that patients ought to have direct access to specialists, such as Dr. Berry, an ob-gyn, cancer specialists, that patients ought to have the capacity to take complaints to an independent review organization staffed by doctors and medical professionals.

We're making good progress. There is a lot of agreement on a bill that has— bills moving their way through the House of Representatives right now. But I want a bill to sign that does not run the cost of premiums up or health care up as a result of excessive lawsuits. I want a bill that honors patients, not trial lawyers, a bill that makes it easier for docs to do their job, as opposed to a bill that encourage excessive litigation.

I want to again thank you for the chance to visit.

Dr. Berry, you might want to say a few things.

[At this point, Dr. David B. Berry made brief remarks.]

The President. Okay, thank you all.

Q. Mr. President, any decisions on stem cell——

Q. What did you hear from the patients——

Q. What did the patients——

The President. The patients just want to make sure they've got access to specialists, and they, too, like the idea of having an independent review organization where they can take their complaints, where they can solve problems before it ends up in a court of law.

There are some people up there on the Hill that are interested in fostering excessive litigation, which is not good for patients. I think Americans understand that.

NOTE: The President spoke at 2:18 p.m. in the boardroom following discussions in the hospital. In his remarks, he referred to J. Knox Singleton, chief executive officer, Inova Health System. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

George W. Bush, Remarks at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital and an Exchange With Reporters in Fairfax, Virginia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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