In a blow to Clinton’s health care reform plan, the “patients’ bill of rights” was defeated by a vote of 51-48 in the Senate yesterday. The bill, which passed in the House last year, included important protections for women’s health. The bill would have allowed women in HMO’s to designate an OB/GYN as their primary care physician. It would also have granted patients the right to continue care with the same doctor regardless of changes in insurance during treatment. The bill would have enabled patients to appeal to an independent review panel when insurance companies deny them treatment and, in extreme cases, to sue their insurance companies for such denials.