North Carolina hospitals have experienced medical liability insurance premiums increasing from 400 to 500 percent for the past 3 years, with small rural hospitals experiencing the greatest increases.

According to two recent studies, North Carolina's nursing homes are experiencing a tremendous increase in their medical liability premiums. Premiums for some nursing homes in North Carolina have skyrocketed by as much as 1,800 percent since 1995. But some in this institution suggest there is not a liability crisis in health care in America.

Next week, people will come to the floor of the Senate and they will, in an incredible way, suggest there is not a crisis in America. I want those in the Chamber today to remember next week not just the doctors who say there is a crisis, and it is real, but to remember the patients out there who are directly affected by our inability to solve this problem. They are the ones for which the safety net is supposed to be there to protect them. But the safety net only works if the infrastructure is there. This is not about cost by itself today. This is about access. And when access goes away, our ability to address it with a safety net is gone.