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Sen. Cornyn co-sponsors two key medical liability reform bills based on Texas model

From the Office of Senator John Cornyn

January 19, 2007

Government - Senator Cornyn picture
WASHINGTON—Building on his record as a strong advocate for medical liability reform, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, co-sponsored two important bills aimed at providing patients with greater access to health care by enacting key civil justice reforms. Both pieces of legislation are based on the successful Texas model of placing caps on lawsuits involving non-economic damages.

“These important bills will increase health care access and decrease costs by limiting the effects of runaway frivolous lawsuits that are driving doctors out of practice,” Sen. Cornyn said. “In 2003, Texas put a model in place for the nation that has proven successful. Congress should act now to provide a national solution so that all Americans can benefit from medical liability reform.”

The Medical Care Access Protection Act, S. 243, was introduced by Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.). It is a broad reform bill that places reasonable caps on non-economic damages. Under this bill, a patient can recover up to $250,000 from a health care provider and up to two health care institutions each for a total of $750,000.

The Healthy Mothers and Healthy Babies Access to Care Act, S. 244, was introduced by Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.). This bill aims to ensure women have access to physicians who provide obstetric and gynecological services. Many of these doctors are driven out of practice by the high cost of medical liability insurance, which continues to increase because of frivolous lawsuits. The legislation will guarantee full compensation for medical costs, lost wages and other tangible costs.

“ The current system greatly decreases hope for accessible and affordable health care in America ,” Sen. Cornyn said. “The time for that to change is now, so I hope we’ll see bipartisan support for these key bills.”

Sen. Cornyn is a member of the following Senate Committees: Armed Services; Judiciary; Budget; Small Business and Entrepreneurship; and Joint Economic. He is also the chairman of the subcommittees on Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship and Emerging Threats and Capabilities.

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