It’s Official: Rowland Vetoes Conn. Med-Mal Measure

May 14, 2004

As he promised he would do, Connecticut Gov. John G. Rowland has vetoed legislation designed to address problems in the state’s medical malpractice market.

Rowland, and many within the medical and insurance industries, opposed the measure because it lacked any caps on medical malpractice damage awards.

“This bill completely ignores the crisis of access that is raging in Connecticut and provides no real relief for our doctors or their patients,” said Rowland. “It gives a false impression that the issue is being addressed. Doctors will continue to stop practicing or move to other states that have enacted real reform. The issue is not tax relief. The issue is access to quality care.”

Rowland officially vetoed the bill yesterday.

Rowland also cited the legislation’s multi-million dollar price tag to taxpayers and its dependence on increased paperwork and documentation by doctors as additional reasons for his veto. The Office of Policy and Management estimates the cost of this provision to taxpayers to be at least $5 million annually.

The Connecticut State Medical Society, representing thousands of doctors across the state, opposed the bill passed by the General Assembly.

“I think it is very telling that the people who asked us for help with this problem – doctors and their patients – are the same people asking me to veto this legislation. They were left out of the equation,” said Rowland. “Some have justified this legislation by stating ‘something is better than nothing.’ Well, that would be fine if this bill did something to help the situation. It does nothing.”

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