June 15th, 2009
11:47 AM ET
5 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. TCM

    @Chipster –

    I know what you mean; we've had good coverage for a decent premium, but it steadily grows in the wrong direction. I'm wondering if the out of court settlements are considered in the lawsuit numbers....or arbitrated settlements......they raise the rates as well, I'm sure.

    Aside from those, there are still too many freebies to illegals...and in a sense, this country fosters the illegals and inner city minorities into having more kids. The more kids, the bigger the welfare check...after awhile Lukeisha learns about "economies of scale..." and sees the benefit in having 10 kids, who cares of the burden it places on decent folk who pay the bills.....AND...to top it off, the majority of these welfare recipients voted for Obama so that the sugar train keeps a rollin'

    June 15, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. LW In Texas

    Southerncousin, Sir have you been to hospital as of late?, or have paid insuramce premium as of late? the cost of medical care has gone out over the top for the average American Family. This Man you call a Moron understands the needs of the people and is willing to do something about it. if we do not get health care cost under control it will be the next GM, AIG, and housing mess all over again.

    June 15, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  3. Robin

    Let me make a living, pay a fair share of taxes, and take care of my own family.

    Don't over tax me to take care of the lazy and the underachievers.

    This is not a Charity. This is the United States of America, where you can be a millionaire or on welfare.

    June 15, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  4. munchmom

    On the campaign trail AGAIN!

    June 15, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. Bill, Bloominton IL

    Barbara Campbell: are you just magically going to open a company with Private Plans once the governemment plan fails? This is why the option has to be perfect from the onset or there wont be any healthcare at all. Companies that sell these plans will be out of business which is why we cannot have senators saying "This is not a good plan but its all we have" like the bailout and the stimulus plans.

    June 15, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  6. Pat F

    Sixty-eight percent of the population is OPPOSED to the Obamessiah tax on the hard working to give free insurance to drunks, smokers, addicts and other deadbeats! And you call the AMA skeptical?

    Hey Obamatons, bend over and kiss your popular mandate goodbye if you succeed in jamming this one down our throats!

    June 15, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  7. Dieter Zerressen, Denver, CO

    And how is "craddle to grave" healthcare just like in England and Canada a bad thing? I love the critique that a government run health care sytem will limit choice. Are you kidding. Has anyone who has health insurance now ever fought with their insurance company over health care choices they've made and been denied coverage? Of course. The insurance companys are in business to deny you as much health care that they can get away with and pocket your insurance premiums for their executives.

    June 15, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. chris (hartford, ct)

    I'd really be against taxing health benefits. I already pay too much for benefits that do too little, and I don't need my salary further depressed when the tax burden gets passed back onto me. Honestly, I'd rather be uninsured than pay the 1000s of dollars out of my check for a health plan that doesn't even cover any non-generic prescriptions.

    June 15, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  9. Lynn

    Just watched the president"s speech. It is amazing how many comments are on here before the speech and the mainly warm response it received from the socalled "skeptic" audience.

    The President has thoughtful palns and showed he is well versed in the subject. He answered his critics but they were probably already passing out their talking points.

    People who want improved care need to start speaking out and writing to their Congressmen and women to let them know what they want!!

    June 15, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. Fla.

    An optional public plan proposed by Democrats or taxing health care benefits from Republicans.

    All considerations should be left open to create broader acceptance of comprehensive reform, but please be reasonable about it. 68% oppose taxing benefits. In fairness, more research should be provided on the private cooperatives.

    Congress needs to examine every initiative to build broader consensus and get health care reforms passed now for ALL Americans.

    June 15, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  11. Just Sayin...

    I still don't understand whats wrong with government health care. Health should not be something people can make money off of. I ask every religious nut out there to ask WHAT WOULD JESUS DO about health care. Would he make a profit? I think not...GOP, you sicken me...

    June 15, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. Proud DHS radical

    Reign in Obama's road trips on Air Force One and he will have the money to pay for his health care boondoggle.

    June 15, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. TCM

    To liberals –

    Those of you who think that republicans and conservatives are against healthcare reform, well you have it all wrong....we're not against healthcare reform, we're against the shell game that obama's trying to play with ALL OF OUR money....reform or enhancement of some systems would be a good thing; to have the government run it, especially under the ill-equipped and inexperienced Obama, whose saturated with his own power-hungry socialistic agenda, ...well, that's a recipe for disaster...you'll see....Obama's done two things right so far:
    1. Nailing the 3 pirates (but, the credit really goes to the SEALS chain of command)
    2. Refusing to release the photos (after he called GW Bush)

    hmm... I guess he's only been an assistant so far to good decisions...

    June 15, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  14. dontreadonme

    Do-it-yourself health care. If we all had a choice the best companies would obtain the best leverage and force the markets to drive costs out. This would help a large portion of the uninsured people “the self employed” or part timers to be able to gain affordable insurance.

    The rest fall under two categories those who cannot afford it (the government is already paying for their coverage and will have to pay for a plan) and those who choose not to afford it, meaning that they are not willing to make the lifestyle changes required to afford their insurance. Should the Government force them to buy insurance… kind of like auto-insurance? I am not certain but I think they should.

    June 15, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. The Original No Incumbents 2010

    Just a few questions to think about, if you are of the thinking kind and not blindly swallowing everything your party says:
    1. What exactly IS wrong with our healthcare system?
    2. If indeed something is wrong, how will putting the government in charge help?
    3. How is it going to be cheaper to add 47 million to the roll of government insured going to make it cheaper for everyone?
    4. Where in the world are we going to get the money, seeing that the U.S. is already 2 trillion in the hole?

    Remember the government is going to be in charge of healthcare- THE GOVERNMENT. Scary huh?

    June 15, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  16. Deborah from KC/RN

    No, it is not true that people who have national health care have worse service and longer waits than America has. You are listening to the propaganda and scare tactics used to keep us locked into a for profit scheme. If, you actually know anyone who lives in France, or Canada ask them. I know some and they would not give up their system for anything. They can not understand why we would allow greedy people to make profit the main goal of American healthcare. We are denied care more often, because they don't need approval; It is totally up to their doctors; our prescription drugs are off the scale. In france they pay $1.00 for a prescription. Here we pay $100's for the same drug.

    June 15, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  17. Skeptical of AMA

    Like many, I grave doubts that the American Medical Association (AMA)
    always operates in the best interests of the American people. There is much evidence to suggest the AMA often operates in the best interests of the drug companies.

    No doubt about it: American medicine can accomplish "miracles."

    But, I also have little doubt that the AMA is corrupt and obsolete, and that holistic solutions are often much more practical, more effective, and less expensive.

    The American people must start to take responsibility for their poor health, obesity, mental health and their toxic food and water. All the drugs in the world will not save us if these fundamentals are not addressed.

    June 15, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  18. stormerF

    The constitution does not agree to give you health Insurance,nor housing,nor find you a job,it does not even say its governments job to wipe your nose. So quit whinning and find away to support your own health and welfare. Lose 25 lbs,quit feeding your kids junk,stop smoking,start exercising,but please quit the cry baby bed wetting,about wanting government to improve your situation.The rest of us that work and provide for ours are tired of hearing your excuses.

    June 15, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  19. AJ

    The biggest joke I heard was from sen. Lieberman who said the public option would cost taxpayers more money but the "universal healthcare" congress is thinking about is the solution. What is this bogus "universal healthcare"? The insurance company executives are sweating in their pants because they will have to compete with a "public option". The republicans are in bed with the insurance companies – why else would they support them? The other joke I heard was that the insurance companies are willing to insure the uninsured. I know waht that means – upwards of $1000 per month in premiums (what they charged my wife when she got off the cobra coverage). All those opposing Obama's plan have their ears blocked or just opposing it because they don't like him in the first place!!

    June 15, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  20. dontreadonme

    We agree that the system is broke but doesn't require a total Government take over.
    Instead of giving the Businesses tax credits for our insurance give the credits to us and let us purchase our own insurance!
    The new competitive market plus more efficient medical practices are the only things that will drive down the costs.

    June 15, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  21. RealityKing

    >>>President Obama said Monday that limits on medical malpractice lawsuits could be a necessary part of overhauling the nation’s ailing health care system

    Good News: Progressives are finally ready to accept something they have been blocking for 20 years.

    Bad News: Malpractise is much much higher in Government run healthcare systems.

    June 15, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. Steve (the real one)

    barbara campbell June 15th, 2009 12:06 pm ET
    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
    --------------–
    Why did Nancy Pelosi take the Co-op option off the table? BOTH parties have been highjacked by the self important, self absorbed! Politics as usual! P.S. government intervention is NOT always the answer!

    June 15, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  23. kyle from ohio

    In the best interest of the People not the politicians who are getting paid on both sides of the issue. Fix the Health Care system by fixing the tax system. a Flat sales tax at a rate that would pay for all american's from birth to death health issue. If all of the emotion and politic is taken out of it this debate This would work from a Repub(Liberterian) point and a DEM (Liberal) point of view. for the sake of the young and the old can't we get along.

    This back and forth about debt and what it is going to mean to our grandchildren and the entitlement that older folks have coming to them. Each and every one of you have or(and god willing) will be young and old in a life time and as you should known by now Life is about change.

    June 15, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  24. arlene,CA

    I want the public option plan & hope you (Pres Obama) do not sign a reform plan without it, you said you would not & I have faith in you to keep your promise.

    June 15, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  25. Steve (the real one)

    Ken in Pisgah Forest June 15th, 2009 12:47 pm ET
    The French have the #1 rated system in the world. Just give us what they have and forget all this bickering.
    ---------------------
    Exactly who came up with this rating: French Politcians? French Morticians? French Lawyers? Seriously, who?

    June 15, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
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