Medical malpractice

Nightly Business Report
Wednesday, January 5, 2005

KANGAS: President Bush headed to Illinois today to offer his diagnosis for what he calls frivolous lawsuits against doctors. Madison County is just across the Mississippi from St Louis. Mr. Bush says trial lawyers have used it as their favorite location to file class-action lawsuits because of its reputation for big malpractice awards. The president wants Congress to correct the problem, by capping non-economic damages in malpractice cases.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What’s happening all across this country is that lawyers are filing baseless suits against hospitals and doctors. That’s just a plain fact. And they are doing it for a simple reason. They know that the medical liability system is tilted in their favor.
KANGAS: But President Bush didn`t have to go as far as Illinois to find doctors with malpractice premium horror stories. The problem is acute in several states, including one closer to the White House: Maryland. As Stephanie Woods reports, some doctors facing huge malpractice insurance bills are writing their own prescription to solve the problem.

WOODS: But other advocates say it’s not the lawyers, but the insurance companies that are sticking it to doctors, and they say doctors shouldn’t force patients to foot the bill.
JOANNE DOROSHOW, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR JUSTICE AND DEMOCRACY: I don’t think it’s appropriate for them to be taking this out on their own patients by charging them money. They need to be focusing on their insurance companies and demanding that the rates be reduced.
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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