HCLA Applauds President’s Call for Medical Liability Reform

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HCLA joins the President in urging Congress to “Protect Good Doctors.”

…protect good doctors from junk lawsuits (by) passing medical liability reform.

The Health Coalition on Liability and Access (HCLA) commends the President’s resolute stance on the need for federal medical liability reform in his State of the Union Address to the nation and the Congress. On Tuesday night, President Bush put forth a new and ambitious health care agenda, but was firm in his continued call on Congress to “…protect good doctors from junk lawsuits (by) passing medical liability reform.”

Christian Shalgian, Chair of the HCLA, said, “The President continues to push for medical liability reform legislation because he recognizes that patients in states across the country can’t get the care they need because good doctors are being forced out of medicine. The 110th Congress must work to pass commonsense reforms that will prevent ‘junk lawsuits’ and restore access to quality medical care for all patients.”

Abuse of the medical liability system by personal injury lawyers has caused doctors’ insurance premiums to soar to record highs. In many states, doctors are finding insurance to be unaffordable, particularly in fields that are considered to be high-risk, such as neurosurgery and obstetrics. Faced with escalating insurance rates, many doctors are scaling back the services they offer, while some physicians are abandoning the practice of medicine altogether. This is becoming a major threat to the accessibility and affordability of quality health care to patients across the country.

To solve this crisis, the Congress must pass federal legislation to improve patients’ access to care, protect doctors against medical lawsuit abuse, and alleviate the excessive burden the liability system places on our nation’s health care. Medical liability reform bills have been passed ten times in the House of Representatives since 1995, but have repeatedly stalled in the U.S. Senate.

HCLA is comprised of individuals and organizations united in their commitment to preserve patient access to care through federal medical liability reform. Shalgian went on to say, “Medical liability reform is something the President supports, Americans want, and our nation critically needs. Now the Congress must act and pass legislation to protect the American people and preserve the vitality of our health care system.”


Courtney Sanders



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