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The Senate health care bill dodges liability reform

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid released the text of the 2,074-page Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Wednesday, now the main vehicle for Senate action on health care. The language on medical malpractice liability is the same non-binding "Sense of the Senate" resolution as contained in the Finance Committee's bill, S. 1796, at best an acknowledgment that tort reform is a legitimate issue.

From page 1858:

Subtitle I--Sense of the Senate Regarding Medical Malpractice
It is the sense of the Senate that-- (1) health care reform presents an opportunity to address issues related to medical malpractice and medical liability insurance;
(2) States should be encouraged to develop and test alternatives to the existing civil litigation system as a way of improving patient safety, reducing medical errors, encouraging the efficient resolution of disputes, increasing the availability of prompt and fair resolution of disputes, and improving access to liability insurance, while preserving an individual's right to seek redress in court; and
(3) Congress should consider establishing a State demonstration program to evaluate alternatives to the existing civil litigation system with respect to the resolution of medical malpractice claims.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.