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HCLA Commends President Bush's Strong and Continuing Commitment to Medical Liability Reform
Date:1/29/2008

Calls on Congress to End Lawsuit Abuse as a critical Part of Health Care Reform

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Health Coalition on Liability and Access (HCLA) commends President Bush's stalwart support of medical liability reform and his call on the U.S. Congress in last night's State of the Union message to end the epidemic of medical lawsuit abuse that is threatening patient access to medical care. Standing before the Congress, the President forthrightly called on that body to "confront the epidemic of junk lawsuits" as an essential step to ensuring that important "decisions about your medical care are made in the privacy of your doctor's office."

"President Bush has been a strong supporter of medical liability reform throughout his Presidency," said Shawn Martin, HCLA's Chair, "and he made sure in his last State of the Union message to remind Congress that ending the plague of lawsuit abuse must be an essential part of any future health care reform package they may consider. President Bush understands that patients pay the price for our out-of-control medical liability system and that meritless lawsuits are causing critical shortfalls in health care in states across the nation."

In many states, lawsuit abuse has driven insurance premiums so high that doctors can no longer afford them, forcing many to leave practice or cut back on life-saving procedures that carry a high risk. The American people understand the danger and have consistently voiced support of comprehensive medical liability reform in national polls. The latest polls show that three quarters (74%) of Americans believe that their access to quality medical care is threatened because our broken medical liability system is forcing good doctors out of medicine; and a similar number (75% to 76%) want their elected representatives to pass medical liability reform with reasonable limits on non-economic damages.

"Medical liability reform must be an urgent part of any broader health care reform package if it is to be successful," said Shawn Martin. "The American people understand this and agree that it's time for the Congress to move forward on vitally needed legislation to ensure patients have access to the quality care they deserve."

HEALTH CARE LIABILITY EXPERTS AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS

CONTACT MARY-MARGARET SMITH - 202-380-0616

For more details visit http://www.hcla.org. The Health Coalition on Liability and Access (HCLA) is a national advocacy coalition of organizations representing doctors, hospitals, health care liability insurers, long-term care facilities, health care insurers and other health care professionals. HCLA believes federal legislation, including reasonable limits on non-economic damages, is needed to bring fairness, timeliness and cost-efficiency to America's medical liability system


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SOURCE Health Coalition on Liability and Access
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