Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), announced this morning as vice presidential candidate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry, shares many of Kerry's healthcare plans, but Edwards' past as a trial lawyer may not play well among liability-reform advocates. Edwards favors eliminating antitrust exemptions for malpractice insurers and enacting a "three strikes, you're out" policy for lawyers who file frivolous malpractice lawsuits. During his primary campaign, Edwards did not include caps on noneconomic damages in medical liability cases as part of his healthcare plan. One question outstanding: "Is Edwards going to share the extremely high priority Kerry seems to have put on healthcare?" said Ed Howard, executive director of the Alliance for Health Reform, Washington. One lobbyist said Edwards' selection would politicize the malpractice issue and make reform less likely. Others, including Howard, said Edwards' background could as easily help the Kerry campaign as hurt it. -- by Jeff Tieman
Kerry running mate raises questions in healthcare
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