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Monday, May 8th 2006

Federal Tort Reform On Life Support

Nothing new here, its like a cycle.

Senate Democrats on Monday blocked the latest Republican attempts to limit damages for pain and suffering in medical malpractice lawsuits.

Republicans offered two versions of the bill, one applying to all malpractice cases and the other limited to obstetrics and gynecology, an area with high malpractice insurance costs.

Both bills failed to garner the 60 votes necessary in the 100-member Senate to advance to a full debate. The vote was 48-42 on the broader bill and 49-44 on the obstetrics and gynecology bill, largely along party lines.

Legislation with a $250,000 cap has passed the House of Representatives repeatedly but has been blocked in the Senate.

Minority Leader Sen. Henry Reid has no idea what he’s talking about. He’s reading off a talking points sheet from trial lawyers,

“These two bills are put here as a result of the insurance industry,” said Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada during the debate. “These measures before the Senate don’t represent a serious attempt to improve health care or the civil justice system in our country.”

I’ll take Dr. Frist’s word,

“Medical malpractice liability premiums have skyrocketed and they are poisoning the practice of medicine,” said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican who is also a physician.