Obama Offers Docs Backing on Malpractice Suit Limits

President may buck Dems to win over AMA

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 15, 2009 7:18 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama is taking his case for overhauling health care to a tough audience today: The American Medical Association, which is holding its annual meeting in Chicago, came out last week against Obama's plan to offer federal insurance to compete with private insurers. But the president privately with AMA officials about limiting malpractice lawsuits, which the organization has long fought for, the New York Times reports, in an effort to keep the AMA at the negotiating table for larger reform.

Obama is suggesting that limiting malpractice suits—something other Democrats have resisted—could drive down costs and be part of a broader reform effort. One Republican said the president was ready to buck House and Senate Democrats to get malpractice reforms in the final bill, but only if he was sure of GOP support.

President Barack Obama arrives on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, June 11, 2009, after a day trip to Green Bay, Wis.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
President Barack Obama conducts a town hall meeting on health care reform, Thursday, June 11, 2009, at Southwest High School in Green Bay, Wis.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
President Barack Obama meets with Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, not shown, Friday, June 12, 2009, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
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Medical liability issues—I think all those things have to be on the table. And I won’t lie to you that everybody agrees on this theoretically until you start getting into the specifics. - Barack Obama

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