Wednesday, January 05, 2005

What He Said: Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., sent out a press release weighing in on Bush's medical malpractice proposal.

Thoughtful solutions for reducing medical malpractice insurance premiums will require creative thinking, a genuine effort to rectify the problem and bipartisan consensus to achieve real reform. Unfortunately, these are not the characteristics of the President's proposal. By ignoring the central truth of this crisis -- that it is a problem within the insurance industry, not the tort system -- the Administration has proposed a plan that punishes victims by capping non-economic damages. The notion that such a one-size-fits-all scheme imposed on every state is the answer runs counter to the factual experience of the states.

Most importantly, the President's proposal does nothing to protect true victims of medical malpractice. A cap of $250,000 would arbitrarily limit compensation to the most vulnerable victims, the women, children and seniors who do not have wage income and therefore must rely on non-economic damages for justice. ...
There probably needs to be some tort reform to protect doctors from ludicrous malpractice lawsuits. But Bush's proposal goes too far and would inevitably hurt the patients who need the most help.


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