(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.