In Florida, a hotspot in the debate over rising malpractice insurance premiums, the Legislature remains at a standstill in its lengthening special session on malpractice reform.
This morning, the Florida Senate again passed its bill calling for a $1.5 million cap on noneconomic damages, with the cap rising to as much as $6 million for egregious mistakes, the Florida Medical Association reports.
That cap is not acceptable to the FMA and Republican Gov. Jeb Bush, who are calling for a $250,000 cap, says FMA spokesperson Lisette Gonzalez-Mariner.
But Bush has softened his stance by recently endorsing a modified cap that would total $1 million in noneconomic payouts for a single case--a proposal that the Florida House passed Thursday, Gonzalez-Mariner says.
"The notion that somehow this is my way or the highway just isn't true," Bush told Florida reporters yesterday. "The intent from the beginning has been to find compromise, to find some compromise that will give us reform."
The modified proposal sets a $250,000 cap per claimant, with maximums of $500,000 for doctors and $500,000 for nonphysicians and hospitals, for a total of $1 million, Gonzalez-Mariner says.
She says the current special session lasts until next Wednesday and that if the issue still is not resolved, it will start again July 21.
Pending resolution of the issue, Bush has vowed to continue the special sessions until the end of August, Gonzalez-Mariner adds.