Doctors Increasingly Taking Political Action To Combat Rising Medical Malpractice Insurance Premiums
USA Today looks at efforts by doctors, "stung by rapidly rising malpractice insurance costs," to become a more "potent political force" in an attempt to lower malpractice premiums. In activities "rarely seen before," doctors are "picketing, protesting and running for political office in greater numbers than ever," USA Today reports. Further, they are "demanding" state and federal legislation limiting punitive damages from malpractice suits, lawyers' ability to file medical malpractice lawsuits and lawyers' share of malpractice case awards. Over the next 18 months, the American Medical Association is trying to raise $15 million for a political action fund for "TV ads, pamphlets and protests," which would be the largest single-cause fund in the group's history. "It's completely weird for physicians to be doing this," Weldon Havins, CEO and special counsel for Clark County Medical Society in Las Vegas, said, adding, "Doctors are competing with lawyers who have, from their first day of law school, been trained and are aware of the political process and the importance of law. Doctors have absolutely zero training with that." Donald Palmisano, president-elect of the American Medical Association, said, "We have to take control over our own destiny" (Fries, USA Today, 9/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.