Thursday, July 10, 2003

Democrats Live?

The Senate Democrats apparently managed to kill the Malpractice reform bill in front of them yesterday, thus preserving some measure of sanity in the national judiciary for at least a few more months. As has been pointed out by Calpundit among others, the entire crisis seems manufactured. In fact the most likely reason for it is that the GOP has noticed that of the three groups that have a stake in the cost of malpractice insurance (doctors, the insurance companies, and the trial lawyers) only the trial lawyers regularly support the Democrats.

Pennsylvania apparently has some of the biggest malpractice problems in the country, partly due to its tendency not to disciplinc doctors who repeatedly make errors. (I blogged this some time ago, but I can't find it now) As a consequence we have our own bill going through the statehouse right now, and according to a PA Dem newsleter I got a little while ago:

HARRISBURG: The House Republican Caucus has dropped plans to vote on a constitutional amendment limiting non-economic damage awards in medical malpractice cases, substituting a much broader cap on all civil cases. The vote is scheduled today and is seen as a giveaway to big tobacco, drug companies and corporate fat cats who drive companies like Enron into the ground. There has not been a public debate or even a single hearing on this much broader and far-reaching legislation.
So even if the national legislation fails, things don't look good here, although I never heard the results of that vote.