Group protests medical malpractice caps

Indiana’s Wish-TV 8
Thursday, February 27, 2003


The Medical Rights Bus Tour, which features a 15-foot wheelchair, is on a tour that has now visited twelve states. Sponsors are fighting a bill in Congress that would limit non-economic damages to $250,000. 

Proponents of reform – including President George W. Bush – say high jury awards are leading to increasingly unaffordable malpractice insurance rates, and they say there should be a national limit imposed on jury awards.

Doctors in New Jersey withheld non-urgent care earlier this month in protest of what they say are exorbitant malpractice insurance rates that threaten to put them out of business. In Pennsylvania, doctors called off a threatened walkout only after the governor proposed a $220 million bailout. Doctors say big increases in malpractice costs are creating serious shortages in high-risk specialties like obstetrics. Already hit hard by cuts in reimbursements from private and public insurers, doctors say they can't afford the new rates.

Among the alleged malpractice victims who are speaking out was Indianapolis radio personality Kelly Vaughn. She said she had trouble finding a lawyer to represent her in a medical malpractice case because the cap was at $750,000. "If it's difficult to find an attorney to represent you with a cap of $750,000, what's gonna happen at $250,000?" she asked.
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