Med Mal Reform Sidetracked In Senate
Medical malpractice reform legislation is at least temporarily sidetracked in the Senate after sponsors of the bill failed to get the 60 votes needed to avoid a filibuster.
The motion to invoke cloture on S. 11 lost by a 49-48 vote.
S. 11 would place a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases, limit punitive damages to $250,000 or two times compensatory damages, whichever is greater, and establish proportionate liability in malpractice cases.
Industry supporters of S. 11 expressed frustration with the vote, but said they would still work to move the legislation.
“We are disappointed we couldnt get more votes,” said Anne Sittmann, a representative of the Des Plaines, Ill.-based National Association of Independent Insurers. “We hope to have another opportunity to address the issue.”
David Farmer, senior vice president of federal affairs with the Downers Grove, Ill.-based Alliance of American Insurers, said the vote was more a political exercise than a substantive one since it was pretty well understood that there would not be 60 votes. But hopefully, the issue will come up again, he said.