A statement released by Les Weisbrod, president of the American Association for Justice, the national trial lawyers' lobby, "AAJ Response to President Obama's Comments at the AMA." Excerpt:
Empirically-based practice guidelines, developed by independent experts, is an idea we can support, as long as it does not lower quality or standards of care. Instead, these guidelines should lead to greater patient safety.
According to the Institute of Medicine, 98,000 people die every year because of medical errors. Eliminating these errors, not further hurting the victims of negligence, is where lawmakers should focus their attention. By taking away the rights of people to hold wrongdoers accountable, the quality of health care will suffer tremendously.
The subject of "empirically based practice guidelines" is beyond our ken, but based on the number of syllables in the phrase, its being invoked is probably just political deflection.
UPDATE: The White House has now posted a transcript of the President's remarks.