Liberty Place, Suite 700
325 Seventh Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004-2802
(202) 638-1100 Phone

Monday, September 23rd 2002


September 23, 2002

House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515


Dear Members of Congress:

The undersigned groups are writing to express our deep and unified concern about the growing national medical liability crisis.  In many states, medical liability insurance is either unaffordable or completely unavailable, making it difficult -- if not impossible -- for physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers to deliver key services to the patients who depend on them.  That is why we are standing together to urge you to support H.R. 4600, the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2002.

Across the nation, increasing numbers of physicians and other health care professionals are being forced to limit services to patients, relocate their practices, or retire earlier than planned.  Some hospitals have ceased offering certain services such as trauma units or prenatal-care programs.  As a result, patients, particularly pregnant women, are finding it increasingly difficult to access care in their communities.

In addition to its effect on patient access to care, the current medical liability crisis will have a long-term impact on the economic development of our communities.  Without access to high quality medical facilities, physicians and other health care providers, communities will endure greater difficulties not only in attracting new businesses and quality employees, but also in retaining businesses and their employees.

It is time for Congress to enact common-sense legal reforms that will stabilize the out-of-control medical liability system while ensuring that injured patients are fairly compensated.  For our patients, our businesses, and our communities, it is urgent that you vote to PASS H.R. 4600, the HEALTH Act and OPPOSE any weakening amendments.   We stand ready to assist you in this important effort.


Aetna, Inc.
American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
American Academy of Dermatology Association
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Association of Blood Banks
American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging
American Association of Neurological Surgeons
American College of Cardiology
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians
American College of Physicians-American Society for Internal Medicine
American College of Surgeons
American Health Care Association
American Hospital Association
American Insurance Association
American Medical Association
American Medical Group Association
American Osteopathic Association
American Society of Anesthesiologists
American Society for Clinical Pathology
American Society of Clinical Oncology
American Society for Plastic Surgeons
American Urological Association
Association of American Medical Colleges
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
The Doctors Company
The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania
Federation of American Hospitals
Healthcare Leadership Council
Medical Group Management Association
Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company
Midwest Medical Insurance Company
National Association of Manufacturers
National Federation of Independent Business
NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company
Physician Insurers Association of America
Physicians Insurance A Mutual Company
State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Company
Texas Medical Liability Trust
Tort Reform Institute
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
VHA Inc.
Western Professional Insurance Company


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