A U.S. Senate vote is expected late today on a motion to end debate on a bill to place $250,000 liability caps on medical malpractice claims for pain and suffering against obstetricians and gynecologists for services to women, but physicians' prospects on the cloture vote are not good, according to AMA President Donald Palmisano, M.D.
"It doesn't look encouraging we'll receive the 60 votes," Palmisano said. "That doesn't make the issue any less serious. As Aldous Huxley said, 'Facts don't cease to exist because they're ignored.' "
In support of the legislation, the AMA bought an ad in Monday's Roll Call newspaper that urged senators to vote for S. 2061. The ad depicts a pregnant woman and the AMA crisis state map and declares, "Across the country, pregnant women are feeling the impact of a national health care crisis."
Palmisano and other AMA physician leaders have stumped across the country for medical malpractice liability reforms, including a number of what they ballyhoo as "House Calls" typically accompanied by public rallies of physicians.
A vote was expected 5 p.m. EST today.