Statement of Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, on reports from White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs that President Obama will address medical liability reform in tonight’s speech to Congress:
“We are encouraged that President Obama understands the tremendous burden that medical malpractice lawsuits place on the nation’s health care system, and are hopeful he will propose meaningful reforms tonight to limit the impact of these lawsuits on patients, taxpayers, and medical providers.
Meaningful medical liability reforms must be considered if we truly wish to lower costs and lessen the toll of these lawsuits. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has estimated that medical liability and defensive medicine reforms alone could save the health care system between $218 billion and $500 billion in just 10 years. These potential savings should not be ignored.
Throughout the ongoing debate, it is clear that the plaintiffs’ bar is the only group not asked to sacrifice for health care reform. The President and the Congress need to respond by putting meaningful medical liability reforms on the table.”
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