Victims want to talk to Bush, too

Belleville News-Democrat
Wednesday, January 5, 2005

President Bush's proposal to limit jury awards in medical malpractice lawsuits penalizes legitimate victims and rewards insurance companies, local victims of medical malpractice said on Tuesday.
"This proposal will not help doctors by lowering their high insurance premiums," said Amber Hard of the Center for Justice and Democracy. "This proposal will not help consumers by lowering high health care costs. What it will do is devastate victims of medical malpractice."
The 29 medical malpractice victims -- organized by the New York-based Center for Justice and Democracy -- plan to forward their plea to Bush today when he's scheduled to give a speech in Collinsville about medical liability reform.
"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," the victims stated in a letter to the president. "Our cases are not frivolous."
Don Fansher of Freeburg included his name on the list of victims petitioning Bush.
Fansher suffered pain and rectal bleeding for 10 years before a colonoscopy discovered cancer. The terminal cancer has since spread to his liver and elsewhere in his body. His doctor later admitted wrongdoing by failing to order a colonoscopy, and Fansher still lives with the pain.

"Illinois is a particularly inappropriate place to be talking about limiting compensation to injured people because the (Illinois Commerce Commission) is notorious for having the weakest regulation," said Jay Angoff, a former director of the Missouri Department of Insurance. "There is not a worse state in the union for insurance regulation."
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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