Cap­ping law­suits

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Mitt Rom­ney on Nov. 20 called for plac­ing a cap on med­i­cal-mal­prac­tice law­suits, a point that drew loud ap­plause at an Iowa med­i­cal school.

Mr. Rom­ney fo­cused on health care in an ad­dress to about 500 stu­dents and fac­ulty at Des Moines Univer­sity. As gov­er­nor of Mas­sachusetts, Mr. Rom­ney pushed through a plan aimed at re­duc­ing the ranks of the unin­sured in his state, a group once es­ti­mated at up to 500,000.

“I be­lieve we have to en­act fed­eral caps on non-eco­nomic and puni­tive dam­ages re­lated to mal­prac­tice,” Mr. Rom­ney said. “Th­ese lot­tery-sized awards and friv­o­lous law­suits may en­rich the trial lawyers, but they put a heavy bur­den on doc­tors, hos­pi­tals and, of course through de­fen­sive medicine, they put a bur­den on the en­tire health care sys­tem.”

Mr. Rom­ney also would en­cour­age states to cre­ate health courts with judges ex­pe­ri­enced in han­dling med­i­cal-li­a­bil­ity cases and would ask states to adopt sanc­tions against lawyers and oth­ers who re­peat­edly file friv­o­lous mal­prac­tice claims, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ports.

“We’ve got to rein in the in­ces­sant cost of med­i­cal li­a­bil­ity,” he said. that ex­am­ined the na­tion’s se­cu­rity be­fore Septem­ber 11 and the af­ter­math of the ter­ror­ist at­tacks an­nounced Nov. 19 that he was en­dors­ing John McCain — and not for­mer New York Mayor Ru­dolph W. Gi­u­liani — for pres­i­dent.

For­mer New Jer­sey Gov. Thomas Kean, a Repub­li­can like Mr. Gi­u­liani and Mr. McCain, said the Ari­zona sen­a­tor’s blend of con­gres­sional, mil­i­tary and for­eign af­fairs ex­pe­ri­ence left him the best equipped of the Repub­li­can can­di­dates to serve in the White House.

“In the his­tory of our na­tion, a mere hand­ful of sen­a­tors have ex­erted a greater in­flu­ence over free men and free women than even some pres­i­dents of the United States. John McCain has been one of those sen­a­tors, and he has tremen­dous re­spect through­out the world,” Mr. Kean said at Bos­ton’s Logan In­ter­na­tional Air­port, where the two jet­lin­ers that felled the World Trade Cen­ter were hi­jacked.

Mr. Kean also cred­ited Mr. McCain with com­plete sup­port for the Septem­ber 11 panel’s 41 safety rec­om­men­da­tions, as well as a post-at­tack over­haul of the na­tion’s intelligence ser­vices.

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