Missouri lawmakers are mounting an effort to override Democratic Gov. Bob Holden's veto of a bill to limit noneconomic damages in most medical malpractice cases to $400,000. In cases against emergency room physicians, noneconomic damages would have been capped at $200,000. Holden, in a written statement, scolded lawmakers for sending him a bill that he said does not "meaningfully address the costs of malpractice insurance for physicians." The measure "uses the special needs of doctors as camouflage to give unwarranted protections to corporate interests," Holden said, adding that the top three medical malpractice insurers in Missouri "have posted profits totaling $60 million" at the same time they have increased premiums by as much as 100%. The governor vetoed a similar bill last year, and an attempt to override his decision failed to muster the required two-thirds majority. The Missouri State Medical Association, which supported the legislation, said the limits are necessary to counter the effects of a statewide insurance crisis that it said is driving physicians out of the profession and compromising access to care. -- by Michael Romano
Mo. lawmakers hope to erase malpractice bill veto
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