Malpractice debate

Kansas’ KAKE-10
Monday, March 3, 2003

Your options are becoming more limited, when it comes to who will deliver your baby.
Because of soaring malpractice insurance premiums, more primary care physicians in Wichita say they can no longer care for pregnant women.
Some doctors are paying $200,000 a year in premiums. It mainly affects high risk specialties like obstetrics and neurosurgery.
There's a debate brewing over how to bring those costs back down.
Newborn Benjamin is the 5th baby Dr. Kevin Hoppock has delivered for the Thackers.
He's also his last.
Dr. Hoppock is a family practice physician. He says he's simply can't afford to deliver any more babies.
Dr. Hoppock says, "I spent twice as much on malpractice premiums last year than I actually brought home in my revenue from my delivering of babies."
Doctors and insurers say the solution is tort reform. President Bush is pushing for a federal law that would limit medical malpractice awards for pain and suffering to $250,000. 
The Center For Justice And Democracy is a non-profit group that opposes tort reform. The Center's executive director Joanne Doroshow says, "The proposal to cap it at $250,000 for a lifetime of care is really an egregious proposal which is very cruel. They really have to look at the culprit here which is the insurance industry and not injured patients."
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D

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