Doctors protest rising insurance rates

Congressional Quarterly Weekly
Friday, March 14, 2003


An array of powerful Republican lawmakers opened the push for medical malpractice legislation on Capitol Hill by joining with representatives of three medical lobbies at a press conference Feb. 6 to decry the financial and emotional impact of litigation on doctors, hospitals and patients. The legal system "is putting a wrecking ball through our health care system," declared Rep. James C. Greenwood, R-Pa., prime sponsor of the bill.
Consumer groups countered by bringing some 50 victims of alleged malpractice to Washington on Feb. 11 to coincide with a joint hearing on the issue by the Senate Judiciary and Health committees. "These are the kinds of people who require compensation, these are directly the people who are affected by the cap," said Doroshow of the Center for Justice and Democracy. "It's not the lawyers, it's the patients who are affected."
Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, also spoke out in behalf of the victims of malpractice. "The reality is, grossly negligent health care professionals have more to do with high awards than the lawyers do," Conyers said in a Feb. 11 statement.
"Whatever the reasons for the anger the president has toward lawyers, his proposal doesn't hurt lawyers nearly as much as it hurts innocent victims of medical malpractice."
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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