Roll Call reports that as the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee addresses healthcare reform, Republicans on the panel see the negotiations “as their latest opportunity to reform the medical malpractice system – but they hold out little hope that this will occur.” Calling the fight over malpractice reform “a long-standing partisan battle,” Roll Call notes that “Republicans are determined to have a say and are seizing opportunities to score political points – if not shape policy – whenever possible. The issue of medical malpractice is one area where they are hoping to shape the debate by arguing that one way to reduce the cost of health care is to rein in lawsuits against medical providers.” The piece concludes, “But the trial attorneys’ bar opposes any changes. Susan Steinman, the American Association for Justice’s director of policy, argued that hospitals and doctors seek additional tests to make more money, not because of the fear of lawsuits. Defensive medicine is not nearly the issue that doctors make it out to be and is more of a red herring to distract from real problems with the health care system, she said. ”
From the American Association for Justice news release.