Energy and Commerce Republicans Accept President's Offer to Pursue Medical Malpractice Reform

January 27, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - The Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee today sent a letter to President Barack Obama requesting specific legislation he would be willing to sign to achieve meaningful medical malpractice reform.

During his State of the Union address, President Obama said, "I'm willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year: medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits."
 
In response, the GOP membership of the Energy and Commerce Committee wrote to the President welcoming his offer to pursue medical malpractice reform, which the Congressional Budget Office has estimated would save taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.
 
"At your suggestion, we will make medical malpractice reform a priority in our work on health care matters this year. To assist us in that effort, we ask that your administration provide to us draft legislation that, if passed by Congress, you would be willing to sign," the members wrote. "The remarks in your address will hopefully give medical malpractice reform the jumpstart it needs to play a significant role in our mutual effort to reduce unnecessary costs in our health care system."
 
The full text of the letter is pasted below and available online HERE
 
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Dear Mr. President:
 
We were extremely encouraged by the inclusion of medical malpractice reform as part of your agenda in the State of the Union address.  In the spirit of your remarks, we offer you our enthusiastic support in crafting bipartisan legislation to address this issue.
 
Medical malpractice reform has been at the top of the Republican health care reform agenda for many years.  As far back as 2003, we brought common-sense legislation to the House floor which used the California model for tort reform.  President Bush strongly supported that bill, but it unfortunately did not advance in the United States Senate.  Had it been enacted, by now would have given the country nearly a decade's worth of health care cost savings - hundreds of billions of dollars - and reduced federal entitlement spending.
 
At your suggestion, we will make medical malpractice reform a priority in our work on health care matters this year.  To assist us in that effort, we ask that your administration provide to us draft legislation that, if passed by Congress, you would be willing to sign.  You have our commitment to work with you on a bipartisan basis through the legislative process.  
 
The remarks in your address will hopefully give medical malpractice reform the jumpstart it needs to play a significant role in our mutual effort to reduce unnecessary costs in our health care system. We look forward to working with you and your administration to enact meaningful reform this year. We should not wait another decade.
 
 
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