Pro-lawsuit group wants Bush's ear

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Tuesday, January 4, 2005

When President George W. Bush outlines his support for limits on jury awards before an invited audience today in Collinsville, he will be ignoring an important voice in the debate over medical malpractice reform, critics said Tuesday.
Illinois residents who said they had been the victims of medical malpractice gathered Tuesday at the Collinsville Holiday Inn to urge the president to meet with them while he is in town to deliver a policy address on malpractice reform at the nearby Gateway Center.
An invited audience of 1,000 people, most of them doctors and local elected officials, is expected to attend the event.
That audience is too narrow, said a spokesman for the Center for Justice and Democracy, a New York-based consumer rights group which held a news conference at the Holiday Inn.
Amber Hard, the group's Illinois staff director, accused the president of ignoring legitimate victims of medical malpractice.
Hard said: "Tomorrow, President Bush will outline a proposal that will be devastating for families and for patients like the people you see here. The proposal will not help doctors by lowering their high insurance premiums. The proposal will not help consumers by lowering high health care costs. What it will do is devastate victims of medical malpractice."
Hard urged Bush to propose legislation to strengthen regulation of the insurance industry.
The Center for Justice and Democracy was founded in 1999 and describes itself as a national consumer group devoted to preserving the right to a jury trial in civil cases.
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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