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PPN Takes Its Case to the US Congress
Last Tuesday, our own Dr. Bean, President of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, testified in front of the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health regarding medical liability reform and the negative impact it is having on patient access to care.
“Access to effective medical care depends on a number of factors, but one that’s too often neglected is the barrier to access created by a malfunctioning medical liability system,” Dr. Bean stated.
As Congress furthers the debate on comprehensive health care reform, Dr. Bean noted that “Those at the forefront of health care reform understand that it will do little good to achieve universal insurance coverage, if the doctors who actually supply the care are driven from practice, or forced to retire early, or shun life-saving procedures because of uncontrolled liability risk.” Click here to read Dr. Bean’s testimony in full, and here for news coverage of the hearing.
Thanks to our Protect Patients Now network of concerned patients and physicians, more than 2,400 letters to Members of Congress were received last week making the case that medical liability reform should be included in any comprehensive health care reform legislation considered this year. If you haven’t already done so, click here to help stop medical lawsuit abuse by sending a letter to your Member of Congress today.
Medical Liability Reform Debate Heats Up
As Congress furthers the debate on comprehensive health care reform, the push for medical liability reform is heating up in Washington. An article in the Washington Times shows that personal injury lawyers and their powerful lobbyists are out in full force, working to stop efforts to end medical lawsuit abuse.
Protect Patients Now is encouraged by recent remarks made by President Obama, who told business leaders this month that ideas to save money like “medical liability issues – I think all those things have to be on the table.”
On Capitol Hill, there also seems to be support from Congressman Rob Andrews, D-N.J., who chairs the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions. “It’s hard for me to imagine a result that gets to the president’s desk that doesn’t deal with the medical malpractice issue in some way,” Andrews said.
While the current support from key Democrats is good news, the fight to protect patients by ending lawsuit abuse won’t be easy and isn’t ending anytime soon, and PPN will continue the fight on Capitol Hill for medical liability reform. To read the update on federal efforts to reform medical liability laws, click here.
Rallying for Reform
Earlier this month, the Medical Society of the State of New York rallied alongside other medical organizations to ask Gov. David Paterson and other legislators to reform New York’s medical liability laws and to protect patient access to health care.
The medical society says that high medical insurance premiums are making New York unattractive to young physicians graduating from medical school and forcing older physicians to retire early. And it’s the truth – even internists in New York have seen their premiums rise 100% since 2000.
Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith, clearly a supporter of reform, said that “Doctors [should be able] to spend more time examining patients and less time being cross-examined in a courtroom.” To read the full article about the rally in Albany, NY, click here.
Protecting Patients in the States
While Protect Patients Now continues to push for federal medical liability reform (especially given the recent attention to the issue on Capitol Hill), efforts to stop medical lawsuit abuse continue at the state level.