In last night's State of the Union, President Obama seemed to support medical malpractice reform, and Republicans and the Chamber of Commerce cheered. I'm going to take a Missouri-esque "Show Me" attitude. Obama's one sentence on the subject was "I'm willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one Republicans suggested last year—medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits." The catch there (aside from the lukewarm "I'm willing to look at") is "frivolous lawsuits," an amorphous term that can be narrowly constructed to the point of pointlessness for any reform. Remember that even John Kerry and John Edwards proposed limiting frivolous lawsuits in medical malpractice suits in their 2004 campaign, and the details demonstrated that they proposed exactly nothing that would reduce costs or the lawsuits that doctors consider "frivolous."
Obama's SOTU medical malpractice plank
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Center for Legal Policy at the