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Statement from Stuart L. Weinstein, MD, Chairman, Doctors for Medical Liability Reform on President Obama's Health Care Address to Congress

Thursday, September 17, 2009 General News J E 4
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 In response to President Obama's remarks on medical liability reform in his address to Congress, DMLR Chairman Stuart L. Weinstein, M.D. issued the following statement:

"In his address to Congress, I was pleased to hear President Obama acknowledge that medical liability reform is needed to lower costs and reduce the practice of defensive medicine. While I appreciate his commitment to state demonstration projects, it is my hope that Congress will heed the President's words and take action to include comprehensive federal medical liability reform in pending health care legislation.

"Medical liability reform is not a Republican or Democratic issue. It is a patient issue. Members of Congress on both sides of the political aisle, health care policy experts, opinion leaders, and patients across the country agree that our nation's medical liability system is broken and needs to be fixed. Most recently, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer have both talked about the problems with the current system -- problems like excessive jury awards, and too frivolous lawsuits. This hurts patients by threatening their access to quality medical care when they need it and by increasing health care costs for all Americans. These are issues that must be addressed if true health care reform is to be achieved.

"We must work together to find a solution to our health care and medical liability systems that first and foremost protect patients -- one that is more effective, more efficient, and one that puts more money in the hands of patients, not personal injury lawyers. States across the country have enacted medical liability reforms with a proven track record of success that should be a model for federal reform efforts.

"On behalf of Doctors for Medical Liability Reform and Protect Patients Now, I look forward to working with the President and the Congress as the health care reform debate evolves in the coming months, and hope that leaders from both parties in Congress step forward to stop medical lawsuit abuse once and for all."

Doctors for Medical Liability Reform (DMLR) is a national coalition of practicing medical specialists committed to protecting patients' access to healthcare by supporting federal legislation that will reform our nation's broken medical liability system. DMLR launched a major national grassroots effort called Protect Patients Now that includes physicians, patients and concerned citizens across the country.

SOURCE Doctors for Medical Liability Reform
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