The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Phone: (202) 588-1000

In Calling for Medical Liability Measure, House Republicans Ignore Real Problem

Statement of Christine Hines, Civil Justice Counsel, Public Citizen


In a draft resolution issued Tuesday, the incoming House Republican
leadership directed committees to approve legislation to replace the
health care law, including a mandate to "reform the medical liability

Predictably, the new Republican majority has resorted to its
oft-repeated mantra of calling for a federal law to restrict American
patients' rights as a way to cut health care spending. In doing so, the
majority ignores evidence that such measures would not bring significant
savings and in fact would carry substantial costs. It also ignores the
real problem-a malpractice epidemic that kills and injures millions of
Americans and costs our health care system billions of dollars each

The House Republican answer is for the government to continue
shelling out billions to cover the costs of unnecessary and preventable
medical errors, while the offenders are let off the hook and citizens

According to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services, eliminating avoidable medical errors could potentially save
$44 billion over 10 years. We call on the new Republican majority to try
something different for a change. If you really want to cut health care
spending, fix the patient safety crisis.

Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that champions the public interest in the halls of power. We defend democracy, resist corporate power and work to ensure that government works for the people - not for big corporations. Founded in 1971, we now have 500,000 members and supporters throughout the country.

(202) 588-1000