From the President's remarks at the American Medical Association's meeting in Chicago. The audience was certainly engaged, as you can tell more clearly from the sound clip.
Now, I recognize that it will be hard to make some of these changes if doctors feel like they're constantly looking over their shoulders for fear of lawsuits. I recognize that. (Applause) Don't get too excited yet. (Applause, cheers, standing ovation.)
All right...Now, I understand that some doctors may feel the need to order more tests and treatments to avoid being legally vulnerable. That's a real issue. Now...just hold onto your horses here, guys. (Laughter.)
I want to be honest with you. I'm not advocating caps on malpractice awards (murmurs, laughter) which I personally believe can be unfair to people who have been wrongfully harmed. But I personally I think we need to explore a range of ideas about how to put patients' safety first, how to let doctors focus on practicing medicine, how to encourage a broader use of evidence-based guidelines.
I want to work with the AMA so we can scale back the excessive defense of medicine that reinforces our current system, and shift to a system where we are providing better care, rather than simply more treatment.
So, this is going to be a priority for me, and I know, based on your responses, it's a priority for you, and I look forward to working with you. But it's going to be difficult. All of this stuff is going to be difficult. All of it's going to be important.