Bush brings malpractice issue to Illinois

University Wire
Tuesday, January 18, 2005

After President Bush recently stopped in Southern Illinois to urge lawmakers to pass medical malpractice reform, state and national legislators have pledged to address the issue this year.
During a town hall meeting in Collinsville -- 15 miles east of St. Louis -- Bush called on Congress to fix the medical liability system he called "out of control" with a workable bill on his desk by the end of the year.
"This is a system that needs to be fixed," Bush said. "We've got a problem, folks."
Bush argued that instituting a cap on medical malpractice awards would help to drive down patients' health care costs and doctors' insurance rates. The president proposed a $250,000 limit on non-economic damages, also known as pain and suffering, from malpractice awards.

Amber Hard, Illinois director of the Center for Justice and Democracy, said she agrees there is a medical malpractice crisis in Illinois, but Bush's proposal will not solve any problems. Hard said Illinois needs insurance regulation, not a proposal that would "tie the hands of juries."
"He is proposing reforms that would devastate victims of malpractice and wouldn't actually create lower premiums for doctors," Hard said.
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D

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