September 9th, 2009
09:04 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama ready to move on tort reform

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama on Wednesday directed his administration to set up demonstration projects in several states to move toward medical malpractice reform, throwing a bone to Republicans who have long called for tort reform to bring down health care costs.

"I don't believe malpractice reform is a silver bullet, but I have talked to enough doctors to know that defensive medicine may be contributing to unnecessary costs," the president said to a joint session of Congress.

He proposed demonstration projects - considered by the Bush administration - "on a range of ideas about how to put patient safety first and let doctors focus on practicing medicine."

Mention of the issue prompted applause from the Republican side of the chamber.

Filed under: Health care • President Obama
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. rw

    May God have mercy on each one of us and on the Doctors who deserve to be sued !

    September 9, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  2. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    If anyone thinks that the democrats are going to pass anything that is going to deny one single red cent to one single trial lawyer (one of their main contributors), I've got a real estate deal I'd like to talk to you about. 😉

    September 9, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  3. Myrtle, Alabama

    When that republican Boustanny got up to rebuttal President Obama, I just turned off the television to avoid killing the spirit.

    God bless President Obama.

    September 9, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  4. Dana

    Well maybe if some of those Republicans sitting in the front rows can stop texting on their cell phones. In response to Senator Boustany and the Republican party, how do you expect to educate people to make healthy choices in life if you continue to try to cut spending in education. The senator just said that it will help lower health care costs if people are more educated about their health! So, what do you want to do, help educate people or continue to see health care costs rise? MAKE A DECISION!!! I am very glad to hear President Obama come out tonight and hear what his plan has in store for us. I am a 23 year old single mother in my last year of nursing school. I can't wait to see his plan pass because from what I heard tonight.

    September 9, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    TORT reform is reasonable, but i never hear any republican ideas about what they want done besides for putting a cap on settlements.

    September 9, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  6. Karen

    They also need to address the bonuses that the lawyers for both the insurance companies and underwriters get when there are no claims or few claims made against a policy. The amount of money is staggering. Tort reform pales by comparison.

    September 9, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  7. John

    Tort reform and over regulation are the First priority anything else on the table is worthless.

    September 9, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  8. Dave

    Lip service only. Let's see it written into one of the proposed bills.

    September 9, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  9. Tamarra Turner-Allen


    September 9, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  10. Post always rejected by CNN

    That's what republicans want they say leave health care with insurance companies and cut malpractice suits and give tax cuts to big business for providing health insurance to their employees....where does that leave the unemployed?????big business.....big business....big business do the republicans ever ever ever think of anything else.

    September 9, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  11. Rob Stumpf

    Complete nonsense. He knows, I know, you know, everyone knows– there isn't a chance in the world that this Congress passes meaningful tort reform. He's just throwing out a bone to appease some gullible people out there.

    September 9, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  12. A Democrat of 51 years who has finally got smart to their follishness.

    The republicans are not. It is not their failed plan.

    September 9, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  13. Gary's Way

    Yes, serious malpractice reform can result in an immediate 10% healthcare savings in lawsuits, lost work time, lower insurance premiums and most importantly fewer unnecessary tests. Without serious malpractice reform, healthcare reform will be weak at best.

    September 9, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  14. Marty, FL

    President Obama respectfully considers the input of others. It is admirable that he is open to malpractice reforms in efforts to achieve bipartisan support.

    God Bless America and our President!

    September 9, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  15. Brian-Pa

    Hey, I'm a progressive and I like this idea. Lets cut from both ends. Compromises are never one sided.

    September 9, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  16. J.C. - Independent & Insured

    I watched the whole speech. President Obama is a very skilled problem-solver. After his two terms, he will leave the future presidents little to do.

    September 9, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  17. AJ

    Lets hope Obama has only one term So far this one has been a model in how to appease the right to the detriment of the middle class

    September 9, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  18. ED

    It's about time!!!

    September 9, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  19. jts

    Is anyone surprised that a middle aged white guy from the south thinks its okay to yell and call the first AA POTUS a liar during a world wide televised address to Congress? Why do people continue to suggest that there is no element of racism at the base of the criticisms and opposition of Pres. Obama? Wilson's hate so overwhelmed him that he could not contain himself. So sad.

    September 9, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  20. Nancy Lee

    Tort reform can mean different things. If the president means to put a monetary cap on malpractice rewards it is unconstitutional because everyone is entitled to a trial by jury without any restrictions on the determination of the jury. Very few malpractice cases even go to trial and the costs of the trials don't add that much to the cost of medical care.
    However, if the president is talking about having panels determine whether or not a charge of malpractice meets the standards for a trial or if it is frivilous and can be settled by the parties involved, then it could be workable. Most cases of malpractice are settled out of court anyway.

    September 9, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  21. Okay

    I can go with this, and I'm a Dem... There needs to be tort reform.
    now Goper's.. What can you live with?

    September 9, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  22. Margaret

    It will never happen. The American Trial Lawyers' Association are the top donors to the Democrat party.

    September 9, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  23. REA

    President Obama is willing to work with republicans to get the job done on health insurance. republicans can learn a lot from this very smart and intelligent President Barack Obama he says what he mean and mean what he says.

    September 9, 2009 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  24. vic nashville , Tn

    Today we know where we are the way republicans behave proved where in 1960s

    September 9, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  25. Jim

    Whenever the issue of tort reform comes up I wonder if you would be content with a $250,000 payment if your obstetrician made a mistake and your child died. Or was so grievously injured that they would spend their life in a wheelchair? I am not sure how one outs a price on something like that. So here is my proposal. The difficulty with payouts in these sorts of claims is that they raise the malpractice insurance premiums that doctors have to pay. But as far as I know health insurance companies that administer these policies are quite profitable. Instead of capping awards to plaintiffs why don't we provide relief for doctors by capping the cost of malpractice insurance premiums?

    September 9, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
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