Victims want Bush to hear message

Edwardsville Intelligencer
Wednesday, January 5, 2005

When President George W. Bush comes to Collinsville today, he will be meeting with a group of elected officials, physicians and business people selectively invited to attend. Unless plans change, he won't be meeting with the large numbers of people who are the victims in the medical malpractice scenario.
Twenty-nine Illinois survivors of medical malpractice sent the president a letter requesting a face-to-face visit, but it isn't likely they will get to see the president, much less talk to him. So, they called a press conference Tuesday to tell their side of the story.
In their letter to Bush requesting the meeting, they said, "You have called medical malpractice lawsuits "frivolous" and you blame patients who sue for doctors' skyrocketing insurance rates; even though the blame rests squarely on the insurance industry, not us."

Amber Hard, director of the Center for Justice and Democracy-Illinois, said similar things are happening all over the country.
"Caps haven't improved it," Hard said. "The answer is to regulate the insurance industry. In California when they regulated insurance, they had success in lowering the rates."
She said the laws in Illinois that pertain to insurance are some of the most lax in the nation. She said the legislation supported by the president would severely reduce the rights of victims of medical malpractice nationwide, as well as the rights of the victims of dangerous FDA-approved drugs.
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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