Dayton Votes Against Lowering Health Care Costs
Klobuchar Remains Silent; Takes $289,000 from Lawyers
May 9 -
Yesterday, Senate Democrats, including Mark Dayton, blocked a vote on a bill that would limit frivolous lawsuits that are driving up insurance costs and forcing good doctors out of business. Amy Klobuchar, who is running to replace Dayton in the U.S. Senate, has been silent about the need for medical liability reform. But, according to data from Klobuchar’s latest FEC report, she has taken over $289,000 from lawyers and their law firms. (Center For Responsive Politics Website, www.opensecrets.org, Accessed April 20, 2006)
“Once again the Senate Democrats have blocked common sense legislation that would lower the cost of health care for Minnesotans in order to appease the trial lawyers that fund their campaigns,” said Heidi Frederickson, Press Secretary for Mark Kennedy 06. “It is hard to see how Amy Klobuchar, while raking in $289,000 from lawyers, would vote any differently. In fact, we have yet to see where Ms. Klobuchar differs from Senator Dayton or her party on anything.”
The Medical Care Access Protection Act and the Healthy Mothers and Healthy Babies Access to Care Act would help to curb frivolous lawsuits that are driving good doctors out of business by:
Providing an unlimited amount of damages for actual economic losses and allowing up to $750,000 to be awarded for non-economic damages or “pain and suffering” damages.
Limiting the maximum amount of punitive damages to twice the amount of economic damages or $250,000, whichever is greater.
Protecting the amount actually paid to the client for damages by providing a sliding scale for attorneys’ fees.
Earlier this year, Congressman Mark Kennedy visited Lakeview Memorial Hospital in Two Harbors that was forced to close its maternity ward due to skyrocketing insurance costs. As a result, women in Northern Minnesota are now forced to drive to Duluth for their pre-natal care and deliveries.
“Ms. Klobuchar, a lawyer herself, will have a difficult time justifying her silence on medical liability reform,” added Frederickson. “Klobuchar says she will ‘stand up to the special interests’ in Washington, but her willingness to take hundreds of thousands of dollars from lawyers says another. Will Amy Klobuchar represent the people of Minnesota in Washington, or the trial lawyers who funded her campaign?”
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