The Senate is expected to vote Wednesday on legislation that would limit noneconomic damage awards to $250,000 in medical malpractice cases against OB/GYNs and trauma doctors. Debate on the bill, sponsored by Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), began today. A similar bill sponsored by John Ensign (R-Nev.) was defeated in a Democratic filibuster earlier this year. The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights asked a Senate ethics committee to bar Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) from involvement in the bill because of his ties to HCA. Frist's brother and father founded the for-profit hospital chain, and Frist holds financial interests in both the company and a malpractice insurance subsidiary. The consumer advocacy group made a similar request of Frist last year in the case of a more comprehensive malpractice reform measure. Frist never responded, and the malpractice measure ultimately was voted down. -- by Tony Fong
Senate vote on malpractice bill expected Wednesday
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