Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Republican Vetos Malpractice Reform

Maryland's legislature passed a tort reform bill with support of doctors, hospitals, consumer groups, and Democrats. So guess what the Republican governor did. He vetoed the bill. My guess is that this exposed where the Republicans stand. While they claim to support doctors on malpractice, they have really been supporting measures which help the insurance industry, not doctors (or health care consumers).

Most likely what killed any chance for Republican support of this measure was a two percent tax on HMO premiums, to be used to underwright the cost of malpractice insurance and to increase Medicaid reimbursement to doctors in areas such as obstetrics. Republicans have often cited the high cost of malpractice insurance on obstetricians, sometimes forcing them to stop practicing in certain areas, but are unwilling to support measures to relieve their problems.


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