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Senate Proceeding on Dec 12th, 2007 :: 6:11:22 to 6:22:39
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6:11:10 to 6:11:22( Edit History Discussion )

profession. i can't tell you how many times in my life i've relied hon a drr doctor or hospital for my care and was thanking god every moment that they are as good as they are, study ied as hard as they

John Cornyn

6:11:22 to 6:11:35( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: d but, please, this is really a piece of legislation proposed by senator gregg which has not been thought through. it isn't fair, isn't fair to the women who would be discriminate ed against by

John Cornyn

6:11:22 to 6:22:39( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John Cornyn

John Cornyn

6:11:35 to 6:11:48( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: this legislation. it certainly isn't fair to their families if tragic consequence of medical malpractice means that a baby or a mother is going to be disfigured, face pain and suffering for a lifetime,

John Cornyn

6:11:48 to 6:12:01( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: to say that no matter how long it goes, no matter what happens, we can't allow them more than 2 $250,000. that to me is unreasonable. it is unfair and it has no place in this bill . i urge my colleagues

John Cornyn

6:12:01 to 6:12:14( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: to defeat the gregg amendment. mr. cornyn: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: thank you, mr. president. i want to express my apreerkts to the senior senator from new hampshire

John Cornyn

6:12:14 to 6:12:29( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: for bringing this important amendment to the senate floor. we've just heard from the distinguished assistant majority leader who is one of the best lawyers we have in the senate, and -- but i want

John Cornyn

6:12:29 to 6:12:44( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: to offer a different perspective, and that is, it doesn't do pregnant women a lot of good to be able to sue for unlimited damages if they're injured in a medical liability case, if they can't find a doctor

John Cornyn

6:12:44 to 6:12:56( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: to take their case or to deliver their baby. really what this amendment goes to is how do we increase access to health care and how do we deal in an area that i know there's been complaints that it only

John Cornyn

6:12:56 to 6:13:10( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: addresses pregnant women and their ability to find doctors. the fact is, if we could get agreement on the other side of the aisle, i think this should be extended to cover all doctors and hospitals

John Cornyn

6:13:10 to 6:13:27( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: and all types of cases. but as the senators know, there's issues of germaneness that mean that there's only a limited ability to deal with part of the universe of the problem as and that's why

John Cornyn

6:13:27 to 6:13:41( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: senator gregg has offered this legislation, which is called "healthy mothers access to rural care" on this particular bill. this legislation, as senator durbin noted, was modeled after recent reform efforts

John Cornyn

6:13:41 to 6:13:55( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: that have taken place in my state, my home state of texas. and i'd like tiewk a little bit about -- and i'd like to talk a little bit about the dramatic improvements in example is to care this that

John Cornyn

6:13:55 to 6:14:07( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: this commonsense legislation that is provided. this is the subject of an interesting story in the "new york times" dated october 5, 200 2007. the title of the story apro poe of my comments a moment

John Cornyn

6:14:07 to 6:14:23( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: ago is "more doctors in texas after mal malpractice caps." and i would say to the distinguished senator from illinois, this is not about deny denying people access to the courts and recovery. there

John Cornyn

6:14:23 to 6:14:37( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: is unlimited ability to sue for and recover economic losses as a result of a medical liability incident. but it does place reasonable caps on noneconomic losses. specifically, pain and suffering suffering.

John Cornyn

6:14:37 to 6:14:52( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the good news is, we don't have to guess as to whether this a approach works. we know because it's worked in that laboratory of democracy known as the great state of texas. as i mentioned, this article

John Cornyn

6:14:52 to 6:15:06( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: highlights some of the successes of this legislation passed a few short years ago in texas. for example, it says, in texas it can be a long wait for a doctor, up to six months, but it's not for

John Cornyn

6:15:06 to 6:15:16( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: an appointment. that's the time it takes the texas medical board to process applications to practice. in other words, there have been so many doctors moving to texas who want to get a texas medical

John Cornyn

6:15:16 to 6:15:29( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: license because of meese reforms that the number -- because of these reforms that the number of doctors has increased dramatically. and, thus, access to care has increased dramatically throughout the state.

John Cornyn

6:15:29 to 6:15:42( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the article goes on to say, "four years after texas voters approved a constitutional amendment limiting awards in medical malpractice lawsuits, doctors are responding as supporters predicted. arriving

John Cornyn

6:15:42 to 6:15:56( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: from all parts of the country to swell the ranks of specialists at texas hospitals and bring professional health care to some long underserved rural areas." this is particularly important, as the

John Cornyn

6:15:56 to 6:16:08( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: article says, mr. president, in high-risk specialties like obstetrics and gynecology and neurosurgery and other areas where it's hard to find doctors t come are practice because of skyrocketing medical

John Cornyn

6:16:08 to 6:16:24( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: malpractice rates. well, this reform in texas four years ago and what this amendment proposes are specifically designed to deal with those skyrocketing mal malpractice rates by providing some reasonable

John Cornyn

6:16:24 to 6:16:38( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: limits on recovery for noneconomic damages damages. it's just fallacious to say that it deny ies people access to the courthouse or recovery. it doesn't do that at all.~ this article goes on to say the influx

John Cornyn

6:16:38 to 6:16:54( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: raising the state's abysmally low ranng and physicians per capita flooded the medical boards offices in austin for licenses, close to 2,500 at last count. "it was hard to believe at first we thought

John Cornyn

6:16:54 to 6:17:07( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: it was a spike," said dr. donald w. patrick, executive director of the medical board and a neurosurgeon and a lawyer. but dr. patrick said the trend, licenses up 18% since 2003, has held with an even

John Cornyn

6:17:07 to 6:17:20( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: sharper jump of 30% in the last fiscal year compared with the year before. the article continues to talk about the experience of a pediatric neurosurgeon, a high-risk specialty. dr. timothy george,

John Cornyn

6:17:20 to 6:17:33( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: 47, a pediatric neurosurgeon, credits the measure in part with attracting him and his long-sought-after specialty last year to austin from north carolina. texas, he said, made it easier to practice and easier

John Cornyn

6:17:33 to 6:17:47( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: to take care of complex patients. why would we want to make sure that there are more pediatric neurosurgeons or specialists with that kind of ability and training and skills to make that available

John Cornyn

6:17:47 to 6:18:01( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: to more children who need that skill? that's what this amendment would provide. the article goes on to say, "the increases in doctors double the rate of the population increases, has raised the state's

John Cornyn

6:18:01 to 6:18:17( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: ranking in physicians per capita to 42, up from 48th in 2001 according to the american medical association. it's most likely considerably higher now, according to the medical association, which takes two

John Cornyn

6:18:17 to 6:18:33( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: years to compile their standings. the texas medical board reports licensing more than 10,000 new physicians since 2003, up from roughly 8,000 in the prior four years. it issued a record 980 medical linses

John Cornyn

6:18:33 to 6:18:46( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: at its last meeting in august, raising the number of doctors in texas to 44,000, almost 45,000, with a backlog of nearly 2,500 applications. another example of people voting with their feet when we aow conditions

John Cornyn

6:18:46 to 6:18:59( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: to exist that allow doctors to practice their profession in a reasonable environment rather than appear as a victim of the litigation lottery, they're going to come. and more doctors, more high-risk specialties

John Cornyn

6:18:59 to 6:19:14( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: means that more patients are going to get access to the kind of health care that they need. now we know that the opponents of some of this have basically said that, well, you know, people are going

John Cornyn

6:19:14 to 6:19:24( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: to be hurt if you limit noneconomic caps. well, the fact of it is the people who are going to be hurt is the patients who will not be able to get the doctors. we can't forget our friends, the trial

John Cornyn

6:19:24 to 6:19:36( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: lawyers, who usually take 40% to 50% of every award in a medical malpractice case. i submit that is part of the resistance we have here, because trial lawyers who specialize in these kinds of cases

John Cornyn

6:19:36 to 6:19:55( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: don't want to get hit in the pocketbook. they don't care as much about access to health care as they do their own pocketbook. in some medical specialties, this article goes on to say, the gains

John Cornyn

6:19:55 to 6:20:11( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: have been especially striking. for example, an increase in 186 obstetricians, 53 orthopedic surgeons and 26 neurosurgeons. now, this is the reason why physicians and health care providers have found it a better

John Cornyn

6:20:11 to 6:20:25( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: place to practice their profession and why access to care has increased as a result. this article goes on to say that there was an average 21.3% drop in medical malpractice insurance premiums not counting

John Cornyn

6:20:25 to 6:20:37( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: rebates for renewal. mr. president, justice requires we embrace a national reform, particularly in light of the fact that the american taxpayer, the federal taxpayer pays roughly 50% of every health

John Cornyn

6:20:37 to 6:20:49( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: care dollar in america today. this is no longer just an isolat issue that can be handled or should be handled state by state. we ought to look at the reality, and that is that this, we need a federal

John Cornyn

6:20:49 to 6:21:02( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: and national solution too. we're doing just fine in texas, because we passed this reform four years ago. but shouldn't we make sure that more, more americans, particularly more pregnant women, have

John Cornyn

6:21:02 to 6:21:15( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: greater access to health care as a result of this common-sense reform? as a matter of principle, those who have been wrongly injured deserve their day in court. no one's suggesting we ought to close or bar

John Cornyn

6:21:15 to 6:21:28( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the courthouse door. if a doctor is at fault, he or she should be held fully accountable. but we should not -- we should also at the same time take care not to destroy our health care system in order

John Cornyn

6:21:28 to 6:21:44( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: to protect unlimited damages and the lawyers who bring those lawsuits. the texas approach has proven successful. this bill would simply give the same boost to all americans, particularly those most in

John Cornyn

6:21:44 to 6:21:56( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: need, particularly rural patients; more particularly, pregnant women who need access to an obstetrician-gynecologist to take care of their baby. it would be a shame if our colleagues on the other side

John Cornyn

6:21:56 to 6:22:09( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: of the aisle continue to block, as they have done time and time again, common-sense reform legislation that's guaranteed and proven to give greater access to health care and doctors and to make sure

John Cornyn

6:22:09 to 6:22:22( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: that all americans have access to the best health care possible. i urge all of our colleagues to stand up for better access to rural health care, particularly in obstetrics and gynecology, by passing

John Cornyn

6:22:22 to 6:22:39( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: this important amendment. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. coburn: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma.to mr. coburn: i wanted to speak a few minutes on

Tom Coburn

6:22:39 to 6:22:53( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Coburn: the gregg amendment simply because i have unique personal experience with it. i'm now somewhere close or over having delivered 4,000 children. the last one was an 8 pound 9 ounce baby; healthy, no

Tom Coburn

6:22:39 to 6:29:43( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Tom Coburn

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