2:41 PM EST
Jeff Sessions, R-AL

Mr. SESSIONS. I think the Senator raises a very important point. It seems to me that there should be mechanisms created to settle cases much quicker, without the huge payouts going to lawyer fees and litigation. Don't forget, the insurance company that the doctor hires and that is defending the doctor charges too. That is all money going to increase the cost of health care.

I have with me, today, working for me, Dr. Conrad Pierce. On a normal day in Alabama, he would be my Sunday school teacher today. Today he is working.

He just retired. He delivered 7,000 babies. He told me, some years ago, that an average OB's insurance for a year is $60,000. I don't know whether it is still that way. That was several years ago. Some smaller town physicians may not deliver more than 60 babies a year. That is $1,000 per delivery in insurance premiums. It is driven by this litigation rush we are having, and the pursuit of these big verdicts that sometimes occur and make lawyers wealthy--and, to be fair, sometimes serious injuries

occur and serious malpractice occurs. But I absolutely believe this country can, consistent with [Page: S12537]

our heritage of allowing individuals to sue for wrongs done to them, create a much better system for medical malpractice. One of the steps is the one the Senator has mentioned in his amendment.