Senate to mull tort reform

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Next month, the Senate will address a measure that caps non-economic damages in medical malpractice suits at $750,000.

Modeled after a Texas law, the bill would limit such damages to $250,000 per defendant. Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) said the bill is unlikely to pass because of opposition from Democrats, including Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA). Nursing homes and other businesses have been harmed by large malpractice settlements and escalating malpractice insurances costs in recent years, according to industry officials

A separate measure up for debate would allow small businesses to form association health plans. The discussion over healthcare bills will be held the first week of May. Senate Republicans are designating this period "Health Week."