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Patients rights bill a ruse

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The spirit of Machiavelli is alive and well in the United States Senate. That point becomes abundantly clear from even a cursory reading of the so-called "Patients Bill of Rights" drafted by and for the American Trial Lawyers Association and sponsored by their lapdogs, the Senate Democrats.

Among the many objectionable provisions in the bill is a section giving employees a right to sue their employer if they feel aggrieved by their health-care provider. It's in the operation of this provision that the interests of the trial lawyers and the interests of Sens. Kennedy, Clinton, Daschle and Edwards coincide. The trial lawyers are looking for deep pockets to pick, and the Senate Democrats are looking to increase federal involvement in health-care matters.

If the bill passes in its present form, many, if not most, employers will drop their health-care plans rather than open themselves up to expensive litigation and liability.

At this point, the Senate Democrats will discover another "crisis," and in a New York minute Clinton, Kennedy, Daschle and Edwards will graciously offer to solve the health-care crisis by offering the nation a redo of Ms. Clinton's socialized national health-care package.

The amusing irony in all this is if the government does step in to solve the "crisis," guess who can't be sued without its permission. So much for the great concern for the worker's right to sue.

John B. Stohlton