Senator Tom Harkin says a vote last night on an amendment to the Patient’s Bill of Rights shows there are enough votes to pass the bill. Harkin says the Republicans who’re trying to stop the bill now realize they have the votes to pass it. Harkin says Republicans are trying to get the best deal they can for HMOs before passing the bill.Harkin expects the Senate to pass the bill by this weekend.The American Cancer Society of Iowa held a news conference today in front of the Federal Building in Des Moines asking Iowa’s other Senator to support the bill.Cancer survivor Joyce Hudson of West Des Moines made the plea to Senator Charles Grassley. Hudson says her treatment for breast cancer in the mid ’60s went ahead successfully without insurance companies making the decisions. She worries the same won’t happen if her daughters need treatment today.Hudson says women need the access to all services the Patient’s Bill of Rights would provide, such as clinical trials.A spokesman for Senator Grassley says the Senator supports a Patient Bill of Rights, but does not support the McCain-Kennedy-Edwards bill. Grassley says he’s afraid the bill would dramatically increase the number of uninsured. Grassley’s spokesperson says the Senator is currently involved in negotiations to create an alternative Patient’s Bill of Rights that has provisions he could support.
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