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Tom Sears

September 29, 2009

On the Right Side: Malpractice tort reforms needed now

In my last column, I listed many ways for Congress to move slowly, cautiously and responsibly in trying to implement some kind of health care reform. I'll try to use the next one or two columns to expand on those possibilities.

First, nothing gets off the ground unless Congress and Obama make a serious attempt at medical malpractice tort reform. We are talking about billions of dollars saved annually and it's very easy to implement.

However, nothing happens until Obama and the radical leftist leadership in Congress decide to stop playing politics and start leading. Please do what is best for the country, rather than what is best for your party, special interests, trial attorneys "" who are presently pulling your strings.

What does Obama do? On one hand, he gives tort reform a few lines in his reading to a joint session of Congress and, of all things, he wants this area to proceed slowly. On the other hand, he has demanded a speedy, successful conclusion to his monstrous, irresponsible and expensive health care reform proposal he is presently trying to shove down our throats. His shallow rhetoric is starting to be recognized by people for what it really is: empty and untruthful.

And then, on top of everything, he announces he is going to appoint Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to head the demonstration projects involving limited tort reform in certain states. Conveniently, Kathleen was, for many years, the director of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association!

Barack, Kathleen, you don't need to run any trial tests. You have two states who have implemented reform. Texas, which had a 30 percent drop in medical malpractice insurance premiums, and California, which had a 40 percent reduction. Both states, which were facing serious shortages in medical professionals _ primary-care physicians and certain specialists _ had doctors rushing back to these states.

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Tom Sears

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