|3:44 PM EST||
John Ensign, R-NV
Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, the 2,074-page health care bill before us has a provision on medical liability reform. Here are the savings: zero.
Back in 1995, Senator Edward Kennedy offered an amendment on liability reform to cap attorney's fees. Twenty-one current Democratic Senators, who were Members at that time, voted for that amendment. This chart lists the Members who were in the Senate then.
The Members from the other side of the aisle have made arguments that plaintiffs need these contingency fees to be that high. Let me quote an abstract of a study written in the Washington University Law Quarterly:
Since 1960, the effective hourly rates of tort lawyers have increased 1,000 to 1,400 percent (in inflation-adjusted dollars), while the overall risk of nonrecovery has ..... decreased materially for such high-end tort categories as ..... medical malpractice.
Mr. President, the complete study that I just quoted an abstract of, is entitled, Effective Hourly Rates of Contingency Fee Lawyers: Competing Data and Non-Competitive Fees. I would urge all of my fellow Members to review that study.
Let me also quote from Howard Dean, who said:
The reason why tort reform is not in the bill is because the people----