What: All Issues : Justice for All: Civil and Criminal : A procedural vote on a Republican petition to end a Democratic filibuster - extended debate -- on S. 2207, the "Pregnancy and Trauma Care Access Protection Act," a Republican-backed medical liability reform bill that would impose a $250,000 cap on pain and suffering damages tagged to medical negligence.
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A procedural vote on a Republican petition to end a Democratic filibuster - extended debate -- on S. 2207, the "Pregnancy and Trauma Care Access Protection Act," a Republican-backed medical liability reform bill that would impose a $250,000 cap on pain and suffering damages tagged to medical negligence.
senate Roll Call 66     Apr 07, 2004
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

Conservatives in the Senate tried again to overcome a Democratic filibuster - extended debate -- on S. 2207, the "Pregnancy and Trauma Care Access Protection Act," a measure billed by supporters as "meaningful" medical liability reform legislation, introduced by Sens. Judd Gregg (R-NH), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and John Ensign (R-Nev). The Democratic filibuster stood by a vote of 49 to 48 - a supermajority of 60 votes are required to end Senate debate -- preventing consideration and a vote on the bill, and marking the third time within a year that Senate Democrats successfully filibustered Republican-backed medical liability reform. Backers said S. 2207 would help ensure that women have needed prenatal, delivery, and preventive care by, among other things, including a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages that an injured party can get from a defendant -- unless a state damage cap is higher. But progressives argued that S. 2207 is yet another conservative bill designed to restrict rights of victims of medical malpractice on the false pretext of "ensuring access to care," and said the bill would impose a "one-size-fits-all" $250,000 cap on pain and suffering damages tagged to medical negligence progressives also took aim at the bill's premise - that malpractice lawsuits restrict access to trauma care - noting that the American Medical Association (which opposes the bill) data shows that the five states cited by conservatives as experiencing a "malpractice crisis" are actually among the top ten in the number of trauma centers per capita. Progressives argued S. 2207 failed to achieve a bipartisan and appropriate balance between ensuring those harmed by medical negligence are justly compensated while also preventing a system that unnecessarily inflates insurance rates. Progressives' ability to help maintain the Democratic filibuster enabled opponents of S. 2207 to stave off the conservatives' attempt to advance their version of medical liability reform without making any concessions to the progressive position.

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