Bush on Malpractice

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

President Bush has launched his second-term campaign for limits on damage awards by saying doctors should be fighting illnesses, not lawsuits.

The president made his case at a stop in Madison County, Illinois, recently rated by a lobbying group as the best place in America to file suit.

Bush says "frivolous" suits are driving up malpractice insurance premiums, and doctors are faced with what he calls a "terrible choice" either pass the cost on to patients, move, or shut down their practices.

Says Bush: "This system is out of control."

Some three dozen states have passed limits on damages. But Bush's bid for national caps has stalled on Capitol Hill. He's hoping for better luck in the new, more Republican Congress.

Critics argue Bush's proposals won't fix the problem. Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy calls it a "shameful shield for drug companies and HMO's who hurt people through negligence."

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