Obama: Med-mal reform “on the table”

obama2The debate over how to reform the nation’s health care system may include talk of reforming the medial malpractice litigation system, President Barack Obama and his aides said.

While Democrats have traditionally fought efforts to limit medical malpractice litigation, that could change as Democratic lawmakers and White House officials ponder ways to change the system in order to cut costs.

“Medical liability issues – I think all those things have to be on the table,” Obama recently told a meeting of business leaders, according to the Associated Press.

At a meeting of the American Medical Association, Obama health advisor Ezekiel Emanuel – brother of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel – reiterated that stance.

“I’m not going to give you any details because I can’t. I just can tell you I’ve been thinking long and hard about that,” Ezekiel Emanuel said “It hasn’t gone unnoticed. So stay tuned.”

While any plan to cap punitive and pain and suffering damages is not likely to be embraced by Congress – such a plan was rejected when proposed by former President George W.  Bush – ideas like establishing “health courts,” encouraging disclosure and compensation in the case of error, and establishing negotiated compensation could be floated.


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