President Bush Criticizes Rival Sen. John Kerry on Medical Liability Reform Issue in Campaign Speech
President Bush on Tuesday in a campaign speech in Missouri -- a state that "both parties regard as crucial to win the White House in November" -- criticized Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) for his position on the issue of medical liability reform and his selection of Sen. John Edwards (N.C.), a former trial attorney, as Democratic vice presidential nominee, the Kansas City Star reports. At a high school in Lee's Summit, Mo., Bush said that a lack of medical liability reform and increased medical malpractice insurance premiums have prompted a number of physicians to leave the state (Kraske, Kansas City Star, 9/8).
Bush said, "No one has ever been healed by a frivolous lawsuit in America. That's why we need medical liability reform now." He added, "I don't think you can be pro-doctor, pro-hospital, pro-patient and pro-trial lawyer at the same time. I think you have to choose. My opponent made his choice and he put him on the ticket." Bush said of Edwards, "For 20 years, he has been one of the trial lawyers' most reliable allies in the Senate. He's consistently voted against legal reforms that would protect workers and entrepreneurs. ... Personal injury lawyers should not get richer at the expense of hard-working Americans."
Phil Singer, a spokesperson for Kerry said, "This is the same president who raised Medicare premiums by a record amount last week and made the wrong choices on health care that have resulted in five million Americans losing their insurance over the last four years" (Jeffers, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 9/8).
Bush on Monday "apparently mixed up his words" in a campaign speech in Poplar Bluff, Mo., the AP/Boston Globe reports. Bush said, "We need to do something about these frivolous lawsuits that are running up the cost of your health care and running good docs out of business. We've got an issue in America. Too many good docs are getting out of business. Too many OB/GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country" (AP/Boston Globe, 9/8).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.