Bush calls for tort reform, but Democrats may not pay attention

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President Bush has reiterated his belief in tort reform, but such a call likely will fail to stir a Democratic controlled Congress. Democrats generally oppose efforts to limit damages on lawsuits.

"I'm worried about frivolous lawsuits that are running up the cost of health care," Bush said in Illinois last week. In his recent State of the Union address, he asked Congress to pass legislation that would limit non-economic damages awarded in medical malpractice cases.

Congress has been mixed on the issue of tort reform, failing to drum up enough votes in the Senate over the last several years for such an initiative. Most recently, the Senate defeated the "Medical Care Access Protection Act of 2006" (S. 22) last summer. It was sponsored by Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) and would have capped total non-economic damages in malpractice lawsuits at $750,000.