The need for medical liability reform (Sen. John Cornyn)


 So, hearing the President is now behind this concept in his speech last week was very encouraging to me. If the President supports it, and Congressional Republicans support it, then we should be able to get it done, right?

 Not so fast. Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean summed up the apprehension on the opposing side of this common-sense solution when he said “the people who wrote it did not want to take on the trial lawyers.” Those “people” are my Democratic colleagues in the United States Senate and House of Representatives.

 Gov. Dean and I appeared together over the weekend on “Meet the Press”. During our conversation, I called on all those involved – the President, Congressional Democrats and Republicans, third party groups and the American people – to be honest about the true cost of any plan that we are considering. We should extend that honesty to every aspect of this debate, including the real reasons why liability reform isn’t included in the proposals we’ve seen from Congress.  The only major special interest group that hasn’t been asked to compromise to get health reform passed is the trial lawyers.

 Medical liability reform can’t solve all the problems in our health care system – but no health care reform bill will ever be comprehensive without it.  Congress now has the opportunity to reach the same conclusion, and take the steps that have proven successful in Texas and many other states.

 Sen. Cornyn serves on the Finance, Judiciary, Agriculture and Budget Committees.  He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee's Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.