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Jun 18 2009

Hatch Offers Amendment to Reduce Medical Malpractice and Control Costs

Senator Says Democrats More Interested in Spending $1 Trillion of Taxpayer Money

WASHINGTON – In the second day of the Senate HELP Committee Hearing on the President’s and Democrats’ Affordable Health Choices Act, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) continues to point out flaws in the liberals' plan, specifically in controlling costs and reducing medical malpractice.

Hatch offered an amendment today that would prohibit the use of comparative effectiveness research information from defining the standard of care in federal and state courts; acknowledging that medicine is not an exact science and patients will respond differently to the same treatment.

“What works for one patient, may not work for every patient,” Hatch said. “We must allow physicians to practice medicine without the fear of frivolous lawsuits. Without any safeguards in place, the safety and health care delivered to patients will be in serious jeopardy. In addition, allowing the use of comparative effectiveness information to define the standard of care gives trial lawyers a powerful, government-backed tool that will increase the number of frivolous lawsuits instead of containing skyrocketing costs of health care – all goals the liberals love to pontificate about, but are doing nothing to address.”

Hatch also expressed concern, that while the HELP Committee is engaged in debate on such extremely important legislation, the administration has yet to provide language on some of the most concerning provisions including a new government health plan and a job-killing employer mandate.

“Despite all of the promises from the President and liberals of transparency, vigorous debate and controlling costs for American families, this liberal health bill is playing hide the ball with the American people,” Hatch continued. “All I have seen so far is this Administration’s willingness to spend another $1 trillion of taxpayer money simply to create more government.”

And finally, Hatch pointed to a comment Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) made today as the leader of this legislation in the HELP Committee where he stated that his “goal is not bipartisanship,” while complaining about the number of amendments Republicans have filed.

“This is a ridiculous complaint since the other side refused to include any of our ideas in their bill, which has forced us to appropriately use the committee process to improve the many problems we have identified,” Hatch said. “It has been clear for quite a while now that the liberals’ goal has certainly not been bipartisanship.”