Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Bush Launches Battle to Limit Malpractice Awards

President Bush launches an uphill battle on Wednesday to limit medical malpractice lawsuit awards that he says drive up health care costs, seeking to fulfill a popular re-election promise.
The battle pits powerful groups against each other: trial lawyers against insurance companies and doctors who say rising premiums for malpractice insurance are driving them out of business.

Legislation to cap malpractice awards for pain and suffering passed the House of Representatives last year but stalled in the Senate. Bush is hoping the larger Republican majority will lead his plan to victory this year.
Bush would limit damages awarded by a jury for pain and suffering in malpractice lawsuits to $250,000. His plan would still allow unlimited damages to cover economic losses. His idea is to change a system that he says allows lawyers to hit the jackpot with big-dollar awards.

"We have a broken medical liability system," McClellan said.
The White House said there is ample reason to change the system, pointing to anecdotal evidence of doctors moving away from states with high malpractice insurance premiums and cases where doctors have picketed because of the rates.

Mr. Preznit, I'll make a deal with you. You fix a few real problems -- (1) Capture Osama, (2) throw Don Rumsfeld, Alberto "Anything Goes" Gonzales, and Dick Cheney into the double-secret wing of Gitmo, and (3) resign, and I'll support your ridiculous tort reform.


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