Med Mal Reform Still a Priority for Bush

December 1, 2003

In a speech at a Republican fundraiser last week, President George W. Bush reaffirmed his commitment to passing federal medical liability reform legislation.

“For the sake of our health care system, we need to cut down on the frivolous lawsuits which increase the cost of medicine,” Bush told a crowd of well-heeled Republican Party stalwarts at the event, held in Phoenix’s Arizona Biltmore Hotel.

“People who have been harmed by a bad doctor deserve their day in court,” he added. “Yet the system shouldn’t reward lawyers who are simply fishing for a rich settlement. Frivolous lawsuits drive up the cost of health care. They affect the federal budget. And therefore, medical liability reform is a national issue that requires a national solution.”

The House of Representatives passed the president’s bill, which would have limited non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases to $250,000. But, as the president described matters, “the bill is stuck in the United States Senate.”

Given the Senate’s jam-packed legislative calendar, it’s unclear how soon or whether that will change.

“No one has ever been healed by a frivolous lawsuit,” Bush said. “We need medical liability reform now.”

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