Obama announces $25 million in malpractice reform grants

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President Obama last Thursday authorized $25 million for pilot programs to investigate tort reform options.

Obama has so far been against some malpractice reform issues, most notably capping malpractice lawsuit awards. But he has thrown his support behind other approaches, such as so-called "apology legislation," whereby healthcare workers who make medical mistakes could apologize and work with patients to avoid a lawsuit. The new grant money will go toward investigating the effectiveness of a number of possible lawsuit alternatives, including the apology legislation, according to the White House. In a speech to Congress earlier this month, Obama promised to take steps toward medical malpractice tort reform.

Though intended to serve as an olive branch to Republicans who advocate for such reform, the gesture appears to have come up short, according to the Los Angeles Times. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the grants wouldn't supply enough money to make a difference, the newspaper reported. The nursing home community has pushed for tort reform because it believes expensive lawsuits funnel funding away caregiving.