The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 13, 2003

President Applauds House Vote on Medical Liability, Urges Senate Vote

America's medical liability system is badly broken. Frivolous and abusive lawsuits are driving up costs for patients, threatening access to quality health care, and forcing good doctors to shut down clinics in communities across the nation.

We need a medical liability system that provides compensation for patients, not windfalls for trial lawyers. The direct and indirect costs of the liability crisis to the Federal government is more than $28 billion a year, adding to the costs of Medicare and Medicaid and hurting our efforts to help people get access to the medical care they need.

Today's House vote is an important step toward creating a liability system that fairly compensates those who are truly harmed, punishes egregious misconduct without driving good doctors out of medicine, and improves access to quality, affordable health care by reducing health care costs.

I also commend the House for passing legislation that improves patient safety by providing for better sharing of valuable medical expertise between health care professionals. Together, these two pieces of legislation will make the system work for patients.

I urge the Senate to move quickly on legislation that will reform our medical liability system and reduce medical errors so that I can sign these important measures into law this year.


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