Rep. Michael Burgess, M.D. (TX) in the Hill:
Even more so, I was pleased to hear that President Obama and I share the common goal of reducing medical liability insurance rates and the constant threat of lawsuits many doctors and hospitals face. As a practicing physician for 25 years, I know how costly practicing defensive medicine can be. I want to make sure that overzealous trial attorneys and the unmerited lawsuits they often bring about do not compromise the care provided by a doctor to his or her patient. It is not the intention of medical liability reform to deny a patient who has been legitimately harmed what is due to them.
President Obama also mentioned the issues raised by the New Yorker article in regards to higher utilization rates in McAllen, Texas. Let me be clear -– I do not think caps on non-economic damages are the only way to reduce costs. The concerns raised by the article on McAllen are complex, and are not likely to be directly caused by, or solved by, medical liability reform. This may just as likely point to one of the weaknesses of a government-run payment system -– Medicare –- as it does any other matter.
As the health care debate heats up over the coming weeks, I look forward to continuing to hear from Americans all across the country -– individuals, small businesses, and those with innovative ideas that have worked -– on ways we can improve our country’s health care system.
To learn more about Congressman Burgess’ efforts on health care, visit http://www.healthcaucus.org or http://burgess.house.gov.
Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D., is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and three of its subcommittees: Health, Energy & Environment, and Oversight & Investigations. He is also a member of the bipartisan, bicameral Joint Economic Committee. Prior to becoming a member of Congress in 2002, Congressman Burgess practiced medicine in North Texas for over 25 years.