Obama to AMA: Liability reform is on the table

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At his biggest, and longest, healthcare policy address to date, President Obama on Monday stated that he'd been privately discussing the idea of liability reform with the American Medical Association for weeks.

During a closed-door sessions with the AMA last month, Obama acknowledged that limiting malpractice lawsuits could be an effective way to reduce healthcare costs, the New York Times reports. Traditionally, Democrats oppose such reforms, much to the chagrin of nursing home operators, physicians and other providers.

According to the Times, the Obama administration hopes that public support of these liability reforms will garner physician support for another reform proposal they are less in favor of—a public insurance plan.

Though Obama said he recognized the need to change the way liability lawsuits work, he ruled out the idea of a cap on malpractice suits, an approach strongly favored by the AMA and other physician groups. Obama offered no specific liability overhaul plan during his reform pitch, but he did say he was willing to explore a “range of ideas.”