From the Washington Post: "President's Proposed Remedy to Curb Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Stalls," by Jeffrey Birnbaum and John F. Harris--
"The Senate is deadlocked," said Lawrence E. Smarr, president of the Physician Insurers Association of America, one of dozens of health care groups that are working in coalition to promote Bush's plan. "They're at loggerheads on the basic bill."
. . .
"We are still seven or eight votes away in the Senate from getting that magical number 60," said Christian Shalgian, chief lobbyist for the American College of Surgeons and chairman of the Health Coalition on Liability and Access, the major lobbying coalition siding with Bush on medical malpractice issues.
Bush's proposal, which is modeled on a California law, would limit to $250,000 the amount a health provider could be required to pay a patient for "pain and suffering" beyond the actual cost of medical services provided. The measure would also provide for the payout of judgments over time rather than in a single lump sum, and ensure that old cases could not be brought to court years after the malpractice occurred.
According to the article, given Bush's success with the new class-action law, "many lawmakers are loath to whack the powerful trial-lawyer lobby more than once in a single year." But there could also be another dynamic at work: the President's proposal is rotten at its core, founded as it is on the myth of "junk" malpractice lawsuits. It doesn't stand a chance. (Thanks to Michael Flannery of Carey & Danis for passing along the article.)