Video archive of the US Congress

House Proceeding 02-24-10 on Feb 24th, 2010 :: 1:11:25 to 1:18:50
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Lamar S. Smith

1:11:21 to 1:11:42( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: out at the other end of the building and we'll see who really cares about the policy holders in this country. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. pascrell: i thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. smith: madam speaker, may i ask how much time remains on each side? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas has 27 minutes and the gentleman from

Lamar S. Smith

1:11:25 to 1:18:50( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Lamar S. Smith

Lamar S. Smith

1:11:43 to 1:12:03( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: michigan has 33 1/2. mr. smith: ok. madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman -- the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. smith: madam speaker, on october 9 the congressional budget office pronounced that a tort reform orivil justice reform package would reduce the federal budget deficit by an estimated $54 billion over 10 years.

Lamar S. Smith

1:12:04 to 1:12:24( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: c.b.o. recognizes that civil justice reforms also have an impact on defensive medicine. defensive medicine is when doctors order more tests or procedures than are truly necessary just to protect themselves from frivolous lawsuits. studies show that defensive medicine does not advance patient care or enhance a physician's capabilities.

Lamar S. Smith

1:12:25 to 1:12:46( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: that billions of dollars in savings from tort reform could be used to provide health insurance for the uninsured without raising taxes on those who already have insurance policies. as the administration rushes to enact a massive government takeover of health care, congress must remember that there is the option of saving between $54 billion and more

Lamar S. Smith

1:12:47 to 1:13:07( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: than $200 billiony embracing tort reform. that it will take the leadership to stand up to personal injury lawyers instead of taxing americans and cutting medicare benefits. according to c.b.o., under the health act which includes tort reform, premiums for medical malpractice insurance ultimately

Lamar S. Smith

1:13:08 to 1:13:28( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: would be an average of 25% to 30% below what they would be under current law. also, the government accountability office, g.a.o. found that it's responsible for special liability premiums. the report stated that, quote, g.a.o. found that losses on medical massachusetts practice

Lamar S. Smith

1:13:29 to 1:13:50( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: claims, which make up the largest part of insurers' cost, appear to be the primary driver of rate increases in the long run. the g.a.o. also concluded that insurer profits are not increasing, indicating that insurers are not profiting from excessively high premium rates and that in most states the insurance regulators have the

Lamar S. Smith

1:13:51 to 1:14:11( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: authority to deny premium rate increases they deem excessive. the reason the administration continues to refuse to add serious medical lawsuit reform to their health care legislation remains purely political. as was recently revealed by former democratic national committee chair howard dean. at a recent health care town

Lamar S. Smith

1:14:12 to 1:14:32( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: hall meeting, mr. dean responded to an elderly constituent who wondered why a comprehensive reform of the health care system doesn't include tort reform to lower the cost of malpractice insurance and reduce defensive medicine. mr. dean responded being remarkably candid as follows -- quote, this is the answer from

Lamar S. Smith

1:14:33 to 1:14:54( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: a doctor and a politician. here is why tort reform is not in the bill. when you go to pass a really enormous bill like that, the more stuff you put in the more enemies you make, right? and the reason why tort reform is not in the bill is because the people who wrote it did not want to take on the trial lawyers in addition to

Lamar S. Smith

1:14:55 to 1:15:15( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: everybody else they were taking on, and that is the plain and simple truth. now, that's the truth. end quote. medical malpractice premiums have risen 80% each year in some parts of the country and can cost half a million dollars a year in some specialties. regarding the offer of h.s.

Lamar S. Smith

1:15:16 to 1:15:37( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: demonstration projects -- and this is what the administration has proposed -- that offer wrings hallow given the task for demonstration projects is kathleen sebelius. before she was governor of kansas and insurance commissioner of kansas, she spent eight years as the head of the kansas trial lawyers association, now the kansas

Lamar S. Smith

1:15:38 to 1:15:58( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: association for justice. and she is also the state executive who, according to "the new york times," quote, failed to make significan improvement in health or coverage or cost during her two terms as governor, end quote. the top contributor to president obama's presidential campaign was the wregly industry whose donation came to

Lamar S. Smith

1:15:59 to 1:16:20( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: $43 million. re than 80% of the money given to congress by lawyers, mostly from the plaintiff's bar, went to the democrats. almost $22 million. more recently whe president obama spoke to the med -- american medical association

Lamar S. Smith

1:16:21 to 1:16:41( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: saying i am not advocating a cap, end quote. but the american people are demanding reform. a recent survey found that 83% of americans believe that reforming the legal system needs to be part of any health care reform plan. as the associated press recently reported, most americans want congress to deal with malpractice lawsuits

Lamar S. Smith

1:16:42 to 1:17:03( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: driving up the cost of medical care. yet, democrats are reluctant to press forward on an issue that would upset a valuable political constituency, trial lawyers, even if president barack obama says he's open to changes. the a.p. poll found that 54% of americans favor making it harder to sue doctors and hospitals from the states taking care of patients.

Lamar S. Smith

1:17:04 to 1:17:24( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: support for limits on malpractice lawsuits cuts across political lines with 58% of independents and 61% of republicans in favor. democrats are more divided. still, 47% said they favor making it harder to sue. the survey was conducted by stanford university with the nonprofit robert wood johnson

Lamar S. Smith

1:17:25 to 1:17:45( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: foundation. in the poll 59% said they thought at least half the test doctors order is unnecessary and ordered only because of fear of lawsuits, end quote. that's the end of the a.p. story. madam speaker, the "usa today" editorial board also came out

Lamar S. Smith

1:17:46 to 1:18:06( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: in support of tort reform and "usa today" wrote, a study found that 83% of its doctors practiced defensive medicine at a cost of at least $1.4 billion a year. nationally, the cost is $60 billion-plus every year, according to e health and hu

Lamar S. Smith

1:18:07 to 1:18:28( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: and that's the h.s. of this administration. and in a 2005 study in the journal of medical association found that 93% of pennsylvania doctors practiced defensive medicine. the liability system is too often a lottery, excessive compensation is awarded to some patien and little to none to others. as much as 60% of awards is

Lamar S. Smith

1:18:29 to 1:18:50( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar S. Smith: spent on attorneys, expert witnesses and administrative costs. it resultsn years of delay, end quote. madam speaker, discussing the need for tort reform, the president of the american medical association said, quote, if the health care bill doesn't have medical liability reform in it, then we don't se how it is going to be

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