Group leaves wheelchair to protest caps

Belleville News-Democrat
Sunday, May 15, 2005

A 15-foot-tall wheelchair made of plastic pipe and bike tires was placed outside state Rep. Thomas Holbrook's office Saturday by a group urging him to oppose caps on medical malpractice awards.
A few members of the group, Center for Justice and Democracy, and medical malpractice victims stood around the wheelchair, which was draped with a banner reading: "Caps hurt all Illinois families."
"Caps don't work," said Mark Fraley, the group's organizer. "We have seen that time and time again. Rising premiums continue to rise, and the problem of price gouging by insurance companies is never addressed."
The group is touring the state, calling on legislators to oppose bills that call for caps or limitations on filing malpractice claims.
Holbrook, D-Belleville, introduced a measure in the Illinois House on Wednesday that would cap "pain and suffering" awards against doctors at $250,000, and against hospitals at $500,000. The bill also would make it easier to report bad doctors and require the disclosure of insurance company actuarial tables, Holbrook said by phone Saturday.

"We want Rep. Holbrook to reconsider his support of caps," Fraley said. "They don't work. They don't lower malpractice rates for doctors and they only punish those already injured by medical malpractice."
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D

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