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Kennedy Gives Speech Opposing Medical Malpractice Legislation

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According to the Democratic Daily, on Monday Senator Kennedy gave an excellent speech outlining his opposition to medical malpractice reform. This opened “health week” in which the GOP is pushing tort reform. While the Senate defeated two bills to cap damages in medical malpractice cases, Republicans hope the proposals at least won support from conservative voters.

The senator’s speech pointed out several reasons caps should not be placed on medical malpractice awards. Among them:

- victims may never receive awards the court has given them, including money to cover lost wages and medical bills
- abolishing joint and several liability may allow guilty health care providers to escape responsibility for compensating victims
- state laws allowing greater patient rights would be preempted by federal laws, but states would be allowed to pass more stringent laws restricting patient rights