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Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions

Floor Speech

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Location: Washington, DC


STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS -- (Senate - November 20, 2008)

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By Mrs. CLINTON (for herself and Mrs. Murray):

S. 20. A bill to prohibit the implementation 'or enforcement of certain regulations; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Mrs. CLINTON. Mr. President, as this session comes rapidly to a close, my colleague Senator Murray and I are introducing critical legislation to suspend the Bush administration's latest attempt to put ideology before women's health. The rule being proposed by the administration would limit patients' access to basic reproductive health care services and information.

The Protecting Patients and Health Care Act would prevent HHS from implementing this ill-conceived, midnight regulation.

As you know, Senator Murray and I have been speaking out against this rule since July. The rule, as it was then proposed in August by the Department of Health and Human Services, is a serious threat to patients' access to information and care.

Then in September, Senator Murray and I had a very frank conversation with Secretary Leavitt about how this rule could create a slippery slope leading to patients being denied access to contraception and other important information or care. However, despite the important concerns we raised to the Secretary, the New York Times reported this past Monday that in the coming days, HHS plans to release a final regulation that would undermine women's health.

I am hopeful that my Senate colleagues from both sides of the aisle will join me today in supporting this important piece of legislation to protect patients' rights and health care.

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