From last night’s speech:
Now, finally, many in this chamber — particularly on the Republican side of the aisle — have long insisted that reforming our medical malpractice laws can help bring down the cost of health care. (Applause.) Now — there you go. There you go. Now, I don’t believe malpractice reform is a silver bullet, but I’ve talked to enough doctors to know that defensive medicine may be contributing to unnecessary costs. (Applause.) So I’m proposing that we move forward on a range of ideas about how to put patient safety first and let doctors focus on practicing medicine. (Applause.) I know that the Bush administration considered authorizing demonstration projects in individual states to test these ideas. I think it’s a good idea, and I’m directing my Secretary of Health and Human Services to move forward on this initiative today. (Applause.)
Well, hope so, but it will take changing the minds of some Senators. Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), the ranking Republican on the HELP Committee, has pushed for such pilot projects for several years now. But according to his news release from July 9, “Democrats Reject Enzi Proposal to Cut Health Care Costs by Reducing Frivolous Lawsuits.” The amendment tracked with a bill he and Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) introduced in 2007, S. 1481, the Fair and Reliable Medical Justice Act. Which didn’t pass either.
And as Ramesh Ponnuru observes at National Review Online’s The Corner:
A Demonstration Project for Med-Mal Reform [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Don’t we already have one, called Texas?
Indeed. And it’s worked.
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