June 15th, 2009
11:47 AM ET
9 years ago

Obama may consider limits on medical malpractice suits

The AMA agrees with Obama on the need for health care reform but not how to go about it.

The AMA agrees with Obama on the need for health care reform but not how to go about it.

(CNN) - President Obama said Monday that limits on medical malpractice lawsuits could be a necessary part of overhauling the nation's ailing health care system.

In a speech to the 158th annual meeting of the American Medical Association, Obama cited the need for doctors to cut health care costs by reducing the number of unnecessary tests and procedures that are performed to reduce the risk of malpractice claims. Such reductions might require restrictions on malpractice liability to protect doctors, the president said.

"I'm not advocating caps on malpractice awards, which I personally believe can be unfair to people who've been wrongfully harmed, but I do think we need to explore a range of ideas about how to put patient safety first, how to let doctors focus on practicing medicine, how to encourage broader use of evidence-based guidelines," he said.

Obama also said that reforming health care requires changing the focus from the quantity of treatment to the quality of care.

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (173 Responses)
  1. southerncousin

    He wants more money. Bush left office with a $1.7 trillion deficit which was disgraceful. If he gets what he wants (and lets face it no one is stopping him) this moron will leave with an $8.4 trillion deficit, and there will be those on these pages who will still defend the stupidty because his telepromter speaks so well.

    June 15, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I want every option on the table. The co-op plan, the government ran plan, etc. The governement needs to consider making a civilian version of Tricare.

    June 15, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  3. Mary the Democrat

    They need to get rid of all the hidden earmarks that have been built into the health care bill.

    I would also hope that this time around they would read the ENTIRE health bill, before approving it.

    I mean really, haven't they learned anything?

    June 15, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  4. J.P.

    The government has done such a great job with social security, Medicaid, Medicare, delivering the mail and making your license... let's give 'em a shot at delivering your healthcare, shall we?

    Thanks but no thanks... I'd rather take a good beating than to be the recipient of more government "care."

    Sebelius said yesterday that competition is good and will benefit the heatlhcare industry. I agree... so let's get insurance companies and the government OUT of the delivery of heatlhcare. Imagine for a second how expensive your food would be if we had a national "GroceryAid" program or even private grocery insurance.

    It's the PRESENCE of insurance companies and government intervention that causes the high prices, the problems with delivery and the chaos and distortion in the buyer/seller relationship within the healthcare industry.

    Get the government out of the way and watch REAL competition bring prices down and quality up.

    June 15, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  5. Mississippi Mike

    Here's an idea: Let's take the greatest health care system in the history of the world and give it to a massive, faceless bureaucracy. What could go wrong?

    How does Obama think we are going to pay for this anyway? This plan is going to cost about $600 billion per year, where is that money going to come from? It'll have to come from higher taxes since the government can't borrow any more money and there's no way our lawmakers are going to reduce funds flowing to special interest groups. Higher taxes leads to fewer jobs which leads to an ever-shrinking economy which leads to higher taxes to pay for increased spending for the unemployed which leads to fewer jobs... We're already living in the fallout created by higher taxes and government waste.

    June 15, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  6. Randolph Carter

    Canada and England both have higher life expectancy than the US. By one estimate we rank about 30th in the world. Just ahead of Cyprus. Have a nice, healthy day!

    June 15, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. My brain got baked in Phoenix

    Good luck with that.The AMA doesnt have a snake on a pole for their symbol without reason,they are a bunch of crooks and dont the Leon Panetta story,hahaha

    June 15, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  8. MomofFour

    The biggest mistake our country could make would be to let the government control health care. Go to any city hospital, go to any nursing home, any clinic run by the government and you will see the horrendous care you will be in for. There will be so much corruption it will not even be funny. The politicians will line their pockets and deny us coverage. We cannot let this happen.

    June 15, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  9. The black spider

    I don't know why OBAMA is not willing to take any political risk and worried about his re-election so much.
    Bush shave everything in our troat and we swallowed it but it was very hard to digest because he believed it was a good ideas even though it's turn out to be very very bad.
    Well OBAMA need to worry less about the republicans if he realy believe in his healthcare plan.
    That's what the presidency is. Sometimes you take risks and if you loose you got busted. I am all for him taking this risk shaving this in the troat of the population.

    June 15, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. DH Mid MI

    The government has screwed up Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare and has trillions of unfunded liabilities. Why not screw up our health care system too and complete the move to socialism?

    June 15, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. phoenix86

    46 million uninsured. Half of that are illegal aliens. 10 million earn over $75,000 per year and choose not to get health insurance.

    The real number of people who do not have insurance and have no choice is around 7 million.

    Obama is misleading the nation to implement a single payer system.

    June 15, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. Dave from Jacksonville

    I think, instead of all this arguing over "who" has the best system, why can't congress appoint a FACT FINDING commission to study the other systems and report their findings to congress so they can make an informed decision, instead of listening to "hysterics"!!!!

    June 15, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. Melissa

    Its time to go national with health care. Get rid of the insurance companies and join the rest of the first world.

    June 15, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. barbara campbell

    Why do the Republicans want to deny the American people the OPTION of a government-managed plan? If it's a better plan than private health insurance, it will succeed. If not, people will go back to the private plans. Republicans are in bed with the insurance and pharmaceutical companies, and are continuing to sacrifice America to their own self-interest.

    June 15, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. David

    Funny how Republicans can quickly vote to invade a country, but can't do a simple thing for the American people, I guess it doesn't line there pockets with money.

    June 15, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  16. Esco

    Bush also had billions, if i remember correctly, about 280 billion or more missing money that was never traced again and America forgot all about it. Where is that money today...i want to know?!

    So if Obama needs more money its really not his fault, the deficit is on the Bush administration, people need to understand how serious that is...

    June 15, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  17. JP

    Clearly reforms are needed for healthcare. So far what I have seem is another mislabeling for an agenda and protecting future campaign contributions. The so called stimulus was more about moving a leftest agenda forward than stimulation, like money available to ACORN. The auto bailout was more about keeping unreasonable and uncompetative union contracts in place than anything else. This healthcare nonreform is about insuring everyone not fixing healthcare. I have not heard Obama say anything about medical malpractice reform. Will the trial lawyer thugs share in any pain, not as long as they keep the money flowing to Obama like the unions are.

    June 15, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. Barbara

    All evidence points to the fact that something needs to be done with our health care system. How long can it last in the state that it is in today? President Obama is proposing something that is different from the Republicans think. Consequently, they oppose his ideas. If we don't do this, what is their better idea. We can't let it, the system, to completely disentigrate.

    June 15, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. Fair is Fair

    @ Randolph Carter, who said "Canada and England both have higher life expectancy than the US. By one estimate we rank about 30th in the world. Just ahead of Cyprus. Have a nice, healthy day!"

    Randolph, to equate life expectancy in Canada and England with a government run healthcare system is quite narrowly focused – it fails to take diet, genetics, and a myriad of other factors into consideration. Surely you must agree. Having a nice, healthy day and hope you are as well!

    June 15, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. young conservative from NJ is win

    what Obama tells you: He'll cut spending so that we save $313 billion over 10 years
    what Obama doesn't tell you: The plan has been estimated to cost $1 trillion per year

    an average savings of $31.3 billion doesn't compare to $1 trillion in new spending.

    They also have not ruled out taxing employer provided health care. Doing so would cause employers to be less motivated to provide health care for their employees because of the added cost, causing people to use the government funded healthcare, causing the price of universal healthcare to go up, causing our taxes to go up and for the insurance industry to take a hit... Are you forgetting how many Americans are employed by Insurance companies Mr. President?

    June 15, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  21. Four and The Door

    So by launching the country into one of the most expensive endeavors the government could undertake, the Obama administration must believe that the economy and government debt are all fixed? Far from it!

    At least let some of the rosy predictions about the effect of the Stimulus Bill and the Financial bailout come true before having the government take responsibility for health care. The fact is, that has not happened and one way to guarantee it will not happen is by spending another $1 trillion.

    Runaway irresponsible choices will put our country at risk in many different ways. It's like watching a runaway freght train.

    June 15, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  22. Dave from Jacksonville

    to everyone who constantly states the Government cannot do anything right.....
    I would like to remind them that, as Americans, we ARE the Government.... Remember "Of the people, BY THE PEOPLE, for the people" ???? You are calling us all screw-ups.

    I would like to quote Moe Howard...."Speak for yourselves, lame-brains!"

    June 15, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. Randolph Carter

    JP wrote: I have not heard Obama say anything about medical malpractice reform

    This "liberal" agrees whole heartedly. Have a nice day!

    June 15, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. Kelby In Houston, TX

    Mississippi Mike June 15th, 2009 11:54 am ET

    Here's an idea: Let's take the greatest health care system in the history of the world and give it to a massive, faceless bureaucracy. What could go wrong?
    Do you realize we live in a country where if you get sick you can go bankrupt trying to stay alive? This is a country where you can get cancer and then lose EVERYTHING.
    And our healthcare system already belongs to a massive, faceless bureaucracy. We call them health insurance companies, and please know that your health is not a priority of health insurance companies. They make profit off of pain.
    And the only reasons why you state that our healthcare system is "the greatest health care system in the history of the world " is pride and ignorance. You are blinded by your pride in the Unites States of America and you ignorant of other healthcare systems around the world. You have not taken the time nor put forth the effort to fully examine the healthcare systems of other countries. If you did, upi would know that we are far behind the curve.


    June 15, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. Expat American

    I sprained my ankle downhill skiing....I went to the hospital and got patched up at a total cost of 0 Euros to me. The nice people at the hospital even gave me some cash so that I could get a ride home. I didn't need it, so I gave them their money back. Oh, and I got my prescriptions for free as well.

    My friend who lives in Oregon had an accident on his mountain bike. He suffered a pretty bad spill which included a broken collarbone and knee surgery. He is looking to pay approximately $44,000.00 out of his own pocket, once his 'insurance' reimburses him for their 'coverage'.

    Something is wrong here.

    June 15, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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