Sharon J. Arkin, President

TO:  Members of the California State Legislature

FR:  Consumer Attorneys of California

DATE: January 20, 2005

RE:  National Press Coverage For Your Review

We wanted to make sure you had an opportunity to read some of the editorials that have been printed during the past couple of weeks regarding the President’s medical malpractice plans.  For example:
Malpractice Mythology – New York Times, January 9, 2005

“Tort reform," the Bush administration's answer to the problem of high medical malpractice costs, makes sense from only one aspect: the political. The genius of tort reform, which focuses on putting a cap on the awards from malpractice suits, is that it offends only one big-money lobbying group: trial lawyers, who are important financial supporters of the Democratic Party. Meanwhile, it helps or holds harmless Republican special interests in the insurance, drug and health care industries. The only problem is that it hurts the hapless patients who suffer grievous harm at the hands of incompetent doctors.

Misdirection on Malpractice -- Los Angeles Times, January 10, 2005

There's not much evidence to support President Bush's assertion last week that medical malpractice awards are to blame for high healthcare costs.

The Hype over ‘Tort Reform’ Rhetoric over reality -- Philadelphia Inquirer, January 10, 2005

Given the President's rhetoric, you'd think al-Qaeda had been replaced as the greatest threat to our way of life. Now it's lawsuits by patients claiming harm from medical errors.

The congressional fixes for this "crisis" proposed by Bush and allies are as overwrought as their rhetoric.

A cure for malpractice -- The Globe, January 10, 2005

Before Congress sets a cap of $250,000 on noneconomic damages for patients whose lives have been forever damaged by a doctor, HMO, nursing home, or manufacturer of a drug or medical device, it should look more closely at ways to make sure such errors don't occur.

The Consumer Attorneys of California will continue to protect our civil justice system ensuring access to the courts for all – not just for some.  If you have any questions or need further information please feel free to contact the Consumer Attorneys of California legislative team
at (916) 442-6902.