Bush takes tort reform to State of the Union

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 29, 2003

No one has ever been healed by a frivolous lawsuit. With those words, President Bush took the medical malpractice issue to the State of the Union.

Granted, it was overshadowed by the talk of the economy and of Iraq, but his attention shows how important the issue has become on a national scale.

As if we needed the reminder. With doctor walkouts in several states &045; including on Mississippi’s gulf coast &045; the high cost of insurance for doctors is still a crisis.

Email newsletter signup

In Mississippi, we are lucky legislators passed tort reform last fall. But their efforts likely won’t take effect in the form of lower insurance bills for doctors for at least 18 months, according to health care professionals.

Because of excessive litigation, everybody pays more for health care, and many parts of America are losing fine doctors.

Bush is talking about areas like Adams County, where doctors are still faced with high insurance costs and have to make difficult decisions.

At least they can make decisions knowing there is greater likelihood for positive change in the future, but no one is sure how the state laws will affect malpractice insurance costs. Even now, with tort reform passed, some physicians are still faced with the possibility of losing their practices.

Some health care professionals believe the added &uot;insurance,&uot; so to speak, of federal medical malpractice laws that would help weed out frivolous lawsuits.

We hope Congress takes up the president’s call to action. Indeed, the nation needs to be &uot;healed&uot; of the frivolous lawsuits that are hurting our health care system.