From: Jeff Levine/CNN Medical Correspondent
Subject: Gore Focuses On Quality Health Care
Vice President Al Gore singled out quality in health care as the single most-discussed issue in the health care debate.
The vice president made his remarks today during a briefing that included Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Donna Shalala and Labor Secretary Alexis Herman, co-chairs of a presidential advisory commission on quality in health care.
Also present at the meeting were contributors to a special issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) focusing on problems in health care quality.
Gore said there were "serious problems" in ensuring people received medically appropriate treatments. The vice president also praised JAMA for showing ways to control costs without lowering quality of health care in its special issue.
The advisory commission is expected to finalize its recommendations for a consumers' bill of rights on Wednesday. Gore said President Bill Clinton would comment on the recommendations Thursday.
When asked if the bill of rights would need to be guaranteed by changes in the law, Gore acknowledged it would.
Several bills aimed at improving quality in managed plans and enhancing consumer rights are pending in Congress.
The issue of quality has become paramount as more Americans join managed care plans which aim to control costs by limiting access to specialty care.
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Tuesday Nov. 18, 1997
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