Shays backs medical malpractice reform

Connecticut Post
Thursday, June 7, 2007

Rep. Christopher Shays challenged Democrats Wednesday to approve legislation aimed at reducing the high cost of medical malpractice insurance that he claimed is driving some doctors into early retirement.
"The Democratic Congress isn't getting anything done," he said. "This is one thing they could accomplish."

Although Gingrey says Congress is "closer" to approving his bill, the numbers belie that belief. Only 14 House Democrats voted in favor of the bill in 2006 and no Senate Democrats supported it. Democrats now hold a majority in the House and Senate.
During the House debate two years ago, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3, said the legislation would have no impact on the skyrocketing cost of malpractice insurance.
A report by the Center for Justice and Democracy, she said, found that major malpractice insurers jacked up premiums 120 percent over four years while claims rose by just 5.7 percent.
"In my state of Connecticut , the contrast between claims and rates is even starker, with premiums for our three largest malpractice insurers shooting up 213 percent over the last four years while claims have increased only 1.6 percent," she said.
"In the face of premium increases that are 20 times faster than malpractice claims increases — frivolous or otherwise — this legislation is irresponsible, plain and simple," she said at the time. "Let's come back and pass a bill that will actually address the malpractice insurance crisis."
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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