The wars, foreign and domestic, continue to preoccupy Washington, but issues like patients' rights, Medicare hassles, and the uninsured won't go away.
No one knows what last year's Washington health care agenda might have looked like had the events of Sept. 11 and its aftermath not taken place.
Perhaps 2001 would have been the year, finally, for an acceptable patients' bill of rights, including at least an attenuated right to sue health plans. Perhaps doctors struggling through the thicket of Medicare red tape would have been granted some long-sought regulatory relief. Or perhaps, despite budget woes, a potentially costly issue like expanded …