Maine Medicine Political Pulse - 07/03/2003 (Plain Text Version)
ALERT: U.S. Senate to Take Up Medical Liability Reform Next Week
CONTACT SENATOR SNOWE AND SENATOR COLLINS TO URGE THEIR SUPPORT!
Most of you probably have seen the TV ads against medical liability reform currently being run in Maine by representatives of the trial bar. It is important that Senator Snowe and Senator Collins hear from you to counter these ads.
Contact Senator Snowe and Senator Collins by phone, e-mail, or fax urging them to vote for medical liability reform in the procedural votes next week.
During the week of July 7, the U.S. Senate is expected to move the debate on Medical Liability Reform forward by voting on a Motion to Proceed.
Passage of a Motion to Proceed would allow the Senate to continuously bring up MLR legislation for debate throughout the remainder of the 108th Congress. This is a crucial step on the road to victory.
The Patients First Act of 2003, S. 11, sponsored by Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), imposes a cap of $250,000 on non-economic damages awarded in medical malpractice cases. This cap would put an end to the multi-million dollar jury awards that are contributing to the skyrocketing cost of medical malpractice insurance, which in turn is causing doctors to close their doors.
The Patients First Act of 2003 safeguards patients’ access to care through the following common sense reforms:
On Thursday, March 13, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the HEALTH Act, H.R. 5, by a vote of 229-196-1.
It is also important to recognize that on March, 12, 2003, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 663, the "Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act," by a vote of 418-6. The AMA strongly supported this legislation, which is awaiting consideration in the U.S. Senate. The bill allows providers to report health care errors on a voluntary and confidential basis. Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs) would analyze the problems, identify solutions and provide feedback to avoid future errors. A database will be created in order to track national trends and reoccurring problems.
For more information or to contact us directly, please visit www.MaineMed.com