Dr. Robert Scher said listening to President Barack Obama when he spoke before the American Medical Association recently was "wonderful."
"He talks beautifully and he knows what buttons to push, and he pushed them," said Scher, a Huntington ophthalmologist who was a delegate to the AMA convention in Chicago where Obama last month delivered his address about health care reform.
Geri Barish, president of 1 in 9: The Long Island Breast Cancer Coalition, said she supports a bill in both the Senate and Assembly that would extend the amount of time one could file a lawsuit from 2.5 years after a mistake is made to 2.5 years after a mistake is discovered.
The measure has passed the Committee on Codes in the Senate and is still in committee in the Assembly.
Joanne Doroshow, executive director of the Manhattan-based Center for Justice and Democracy, a nonprofit consumer group, chided Obama for his "anti-patient rhetoric" by implying that "too many lawsuits are somehow interfering with the ability to practice medicine."
Doroshow's group endorsed a recent study by the nonprofit New York Public Interest Research Group, which found that malpractice payments in the state are not skyrocketing, but have risen at about the same rate as inflation from 1993 to 2008.
I think the president was reacting to the political interest of the AMA and wasn't working off the facts," said Blair Horner, NYPIRG's legislative director.
As for whether he thought tort reform would be a large part of Obama's health care package: "I would be surprised," he said.
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