Feb 15, 2008

Clinton and Obama on Medical Liability Reform

Making Patient Safety the Centerpiece of Medical Liability Reform In this article they coauthored for the May 25, 2006, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, U.S. Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-New York) and Barrack Obama (D-Ill.), the remaining contenders for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, lay out their thoughts on medical liability reform. Here's the crux of their position (emphasis added):
To improve both patient safety and the medical liability climate, the tort system must achieve four goals: reduce the rates of preventable patient injuries, promote open communication between physicians and patients, ensure patients access to fair compensation for legitimate medical injuries, and reduce liability insurance premiums for health care providers. Addressing just one of these issues is not sufficient. Capping malpractice payments may ameliorate rising premium rates, but it would do nothing to prevent unsafe practices or ensure the provision of fair compensation to patients.

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