Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP), joined Senators Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), Republican Conference chairman and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Republican Policy Committee in a press conference this week to discuss the medical liability crisis in the United States.
Also participating were patients whose lives were affected when they became victims of a health crisis due to excessive medical liability litigation. Sen. Hatch addressed the issue of out-of-control medical litigation and frivolous law suits that cause medical liability insurance premiums to skyrocket, forcing some companies to stop providing this insurance.
“The National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII) commends the chairmen for their leadership role in addressing the need for medical liability reform. This is a top tier issue for NAII in 2003, and we support the effort to put some sense into the system by passing medical litigation reform legislation this year in the 108th Congress. Medical malpractice reform is essential, however, reform should also be considered in all general liability cases,” Carl Parks, NAII senior vice president, government relations, said.
On Jan. 28, President Bush called on Congress to renew efforts to protect America’s patients, doctors, and hospitals from the staggering costs of runaway lawsuits by passing medical liability reform this year. The Republican Policy Committee, lead by Chairman Kyl has also expressed a strong commitment to assure that patients have access to the health care they need through controlling increased costs by placing reasonable limits on medical litigation.
The Senate Judiciary Committee and the HELP Committee will begin holding hearings on this issue next week to examine the patient access crisis, focusing on the role of medical litigation.
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