September 17th, 2009
11:11 AM ET
12 years ago

White House unveils $25 million medical malpractice initiative

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="White House unveils $25 million medical malpractice initiative."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Obama administration announced a $25 million medical malpractice initiative Thursday as part of its plan to rein in skyrocketing health care costs.

The program, administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, will fund grants of up to $3 million awarded on a competitive basis to states and health care systems for creating and evaluating "patient safety and medical liability demonstrations," according to a release from the White House.

A review of various malpractice reform initiatives will be completed by December, the White House said, and will be used to evaluate future grant applications.

The announcement is a nod to conservatives who have emphasized the role of malpractice lawsuits in rising health care costs.

Filed under: Health care • Obama administration
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Kevin in Ohio

    Window dressing. The real problem is the trial lawyers. Lets get to the root of the problem, please, Mr.President.

    September 17, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Republicans wanted tort reform, and here you go. Now can we get a public option?

    September 17, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  3. william voils

    Come on. This is like tossing a penny into the ocean. Done by December! Give me a break. That's two months. Another smoke and mirrors trick that everyone can see! Just how dumb do these elites think we are?

    September 17, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  4. T'SAH from Virginia

    Well, that's a start!!! Malpractice amounts should be CAPPED and the Freaking lawyer's fees should be CAPPED too... Jeez!!

    September 17, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  5. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    I think they could have just gotten a copy of what Texas is doing and saved a about $24, 990,000 of our hard earned dollars. It's not real radical or difficult to implement, unless you are trying to find a way to funnel money to ACORN/SEIU and the trial lawyers.

    September 17, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  6. Kathy S. Cloughn

    You have to get up pretty early to get asnything past this White House. We need to get moving on health care and related as we look pretty bad as compared with Slovenia and other countries!

    September 17, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. gt

    a drop of rain in the ocean...get real

    September 17, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  8. Bob in Pa

    And this will reduce health care costs how ? Oh yeah, I forgot, we have to spend money to save money.

    September 17, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  9. BLemberg

    Wow. This ought to really help soon.Let's see,a multibillion dollar problem to be solved quickly by a $25 million "infusion".I would suggest spending that paltry sum elsewhere,like expenses for a presidential trip .

    September 17, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. Chipster

    Not sure what good this will do but anything is better than exempting people and organizations from responsibility when their negligence, incompetence, intoxication, or lack of skills causes permanent damage to a patient.

    My uncle's doctor removed the wrong kidney, leaving him with a useless kidney and nearly 8 years on dialysis before he finally found a kidney that was compatible. Family members were refused because his condition was congenital. Who seriously believes that no one should be accountable for that? Republicans, I suppose.

    September 17, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. katiec

    The thing of it is, we would not have so many malpractice cases if the doctors, hospitals etc would become and held accountable.
    What are the chances of you entering a hospital with no infections etc, becoming infected, with many times deadly results?? Far too high.
    What about misdiagnose, or plain negligence by doctors, nurses?
    Far too high.
    What about insurance companies cancellations, denials of coverage or putting greed over integrity? Far far too high.
    What about pharmicuticals putting out drugs that can kill?
    We must demand quality, appropriate, diligent, trustworthy care from all health care related businesses. We do not have that now.

    September 17, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  12. Proud member of the party of Yes We Can!

    It doesn't matter if it's a "nod to conservatives who have emphasized the role of malpractice lawsuits in rising health care costs", they'll still find something in it to compain about, I'm sure

    September 17, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  13. Lisa P

    Wow! That was fast! Gives me the impression our President has had this up his sleeve for a while now, just waiting for the ideal "Presto!" moment 🙂

    September 17, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. tiff of Lithia Springs

    For my MD counterparts that's a start. Malpractice INS is running folks right out of business.

    September 17, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. Maria - Proud Democrat

    I'm glad to see the White House is taking a look at limiting medical will go a long way in reducing health care costs.

    Although this sounds more like an exploratory committee than actually getting in there and making changes right least it's a beginning.

    September 17, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  16. RJ- GA.

    Why don't the Republicans site the CBO report that says tort reform will save nothing on health care costs !!!

    September 17, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  17. Idiot_Pelosi

    Come on, this is window dressing.

    CA has a cap, put some serious TORT reform in the bill Mr. I want to reform HC.

    September 17, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  18. Voted4HealthCare

    President Obama continues to extend respectful efforts to work with Republicans. Where is the GOP's willingness to compromise in return?

    September 17, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  19. Sue

    Why the Heck should we pay grants to people who should be doing their job HONESTLY!!! They should not be getting extra money (OURS) for doing what they were hired to do to beging with. If they don't do their job properly to begin with FIRE them – don't reward them AGAIN.
    Another BONUS Program???? WRONG MOVE.

    September 17, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. Robert

    That would help some. People do not realize that every time a claim is filed against a doctor even if it is shown that the doctor did not commit malpractice his malpractice insurance still goes up. paying over $100,000 a year for malpractice insurance is crazy. Its one of the reasons health care costs are so high and one of the reasons its difficult to find a private family practice.

    September 17, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  21. DAVE

    this is a joke right? this would be considered a shout out to the lawyers by Sebelius who in fact used to be a lobbyist for medical trial lawyers in Kansas....... what a deal

    September 17, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  22. Mississippi Miss

    A nod is better than a prod. A hand-shake is better than a push.
    If you have been following this administration, you will regretfully concede that this is ONE positive thing. It is sadly too littte too late.

    We must never forget the RUSH to PASS this before we could find out what this bill contained. We must never forget that this President said in September that the debate during the August recess, was part of the process. Yes it was part of the process which he PUSHED to prevent with his short and firm demands to meet fixed deadlines.

    Republicans have always had great ideas. He is dusting off some of those proposals, and giving them a cursory glance in order to feign bi-partisanship. We will NOT forget the RUSH (we have RUSH to remind us).

    September 17, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  23. Sam Sixpack

    That will probably cover at least one lawsuit.


    September 17, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  24. Hugo

    Smoke and Mirrors to appease the trial lawyer lobbyists with a $25 million dollar tax payer price tag!

    Tort law reform has already been tried and true in some States like Texas, just set award caps and yank licenses to regulate bad physicians and poor health care practices. Lawyers have put a monetary value on loved ones lives drawing relatives to the bait of greed while sucking the cream off the top. This a cyclic game they play all the while paying into the lobbyists perpetual gravy train. Obama, just DO IT, do the right thing for your Nation and quit worrying about your place in history. Lose the liberal left and you still may have a chance!

    September 17, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  25. Lynne

    How much are the Insurance companies ripping off doctors for malpractce insurance??

    September 17, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
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