February 3, 2005
President Bush Highlights Reform Needs in State of the Union
Sick of Lawsuits applauds the President for making legal reforms to the healthcare system a national priority in his State of the Union address.
In last night's speech, the president highlighted the need to limit frivolous lawsuits and enact "medical liability reform that will reduce health costs and make sure patients have the doctors and care they need." President Bush has urged Congress to pass legal reforms this year to limit pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice cases and reform class-action lawsuits and asbestos litigation.
"Lawsuit abuse is jeopardizing our access to quality and affordable healthcare," said Dr. Evelyn Tobias-Merrill, a Texas Sick of Lawsuits spokesperson. "We need comprehensive reform to address some of the trickle-down effects of lawsuit abuse: rising healthcare costs, reduced access to doctors and high-risk services and declining medical innovation."
Twenty states currently are facing a crisis in quality and access to healthcare, according to the American Medical Association. A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that many Americans cite malpractice lawsuits as a major factor in rising healthcare costs, with almost a third saying the most important factor is unwarranted lawsuits filed by lawyers.
"Some personal injury lawyers and uninjured plaintiffs are gaming our system and we are all our paying the price," said Merrill. "We need to enact reform now before our healthcare system is bankrupted by frivolous lawsuits and 'runaway' jury awards."
Sick of Lawsuits is a nonpartisan, grassroots campaign of Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse with more than 165,000 supporters across the country. Sick of Lawsuits aims to educate its members about the negative impact of lawsuit abuse on our healthcare system and to challenge those who profit from this abuse.