News from Senator Peter Roskam Senate Republican Whip
  315 West Wesley Street 309H State House
  Wheaton, Illinois 60187 Springfield, Illinois 62706
  630-690-4500 217/782-8022  

For Immediate Release

Date:  May 25, 2005/tia

Springfield, IL – A Senate Committee this week advanced a measure to address the medical malpractice crisis, but Senator Peter Roskam says the absence of legal reforms renders the legislation an ineffective and unworkable solution to the problem.

“I have consistently stated that any solution to the medical malpractice crisis should not only include medical and insurance reforms, but also legal reforms as well,” Roskam said. “The bill that passed in Committee this week did not include legal reforms, which makes it an incomplete solution. If we are going to solve this crisis – then we should reject incomplete solutions and instead craft a bill that will actually solve the problem.”

The Senate Executive Committee approved an amendment to Senate Bill 1353 on a partisan vote. Senator Roskam joined his fellow Republicans on the Committee in voting against the bill. The Illinois State Medical Society and the Illinois Hospital Association both opposed the legislation.

The measure would place more stringent regulations on doctors and insurers, while caps on non-economic damages and other legal reforms were not included in the proposed legislation.

“The message behind this bill is that the medical malpractice crisis is entirely the fault of the medical and the insurance industries,” Roskam said. “To suggest that frivolous and out of control lawsuits have nothing to do with this crisis is inaccurate. The whole reason doctors must have medical malpractice insurance is to protect themselves in the event of a lawsuit. Any solution to this problem that does not offer substantial legal reforms is not a solution at all.”

Senate Bill 1353 is poised for passage on the Senate floor.