President Bush continued his battle this week to initiate reform of medical malpractice law, arguing in Chicago that "frivolous lawsuits" are responsible for high healthcare costs. Bush has been a major advocate of tort reform throughout his presidency, but of late, begun to reframe the matter, also suggesting that med mal suits hold back U.S. economic growth. However, despite his advocacy, political observers suggest that this time he's pretty much out of luck. With Democrats in charge of Congress--who get much of their campaign money from trial lawyers--they're not likely to support tort reform. Among the biggest opponents to tort reform is Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, analysts note. Given these concerns, the AMA and other lobbying groups have focused their efforts elsewhere. Still, state-level initiatives to fight for med mal reform continue, as do efforts to change the results in courtrooms.
To learn more about President Bush's med mal initiative:
- read this piece in the Chicago Tribune