Don't Blame Injured Patients For Doctors' Insurance Woes

WASHINGTON- House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to the President's statement on medical malpractice issues:   

"We must ensure that the good doctors serving communities all across America can afford to practice medicine, and that they are not gouged by some insurers that haveseen their profits plummet as a result of our stagnant economy.

President Bush wants to point the finger of blame for doctors' rising insurance premiums on injured patients and their lawyers.  But of course it's never that simple.  In fact, even many insurers admit that they will not reduce doctors' premiums if damage awards are arbitrarily capped and injured patients' legal rights restricted, as the President proposes.

I find it particularly interesting that many of those who believe juries are perfectly competent to decide whether a defendant in a capital case lives or dies are somehow incompetent to decide whether a medical provider committed negligence and, if so, whether an injured patient should be compensated for his or her injury.  By and large, American juries are very fair and competent, and courts provide important oversight."

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