WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama touched on medical malpractice reform, prompting an eruption of applause from Republicans at Wednesday's joint session of Congress.
Noting that Republicans have "long insisted that reforming our medical malpractice laws can help bring down the cost of health care," Obama said when outlining his healthcare reform plan, "I don't believe malpractice reform is a silver bullet, but I have talked to enough doctors to know that defensive medicine may be contributing to unnecessary costs."
He proposed exploring ideas about "how to put patient safety first and let doctors focus on practicing medicine,"
"I know that the (George W.) Bush administration considered authorizing demonstration projects in individual states to test these issues," Obama said. "It's a good idea, and I am directing my Secretary of Health and Human Services (Kathleen Sebelius) to move forward on this initiative."