Donald Palmisano, president of the American Medical Association, and Yank Coble , his immediate predecessor, were Tuesday's guests. Here are excerpts from their remarks:
(Palmisano) "It doesn't matter if you have health insurance. It doesn't matter if you have a prescription-drug benefit, if you can't find a physician.... Our [healthcare] system is being destroyed by a broken medical liability system."
(Coble) "Those who get sued the most ... are those who take care of the complicated neurosurgical, obstetrical, orthopedic cases."
(Palmisano) "Last week a minority of senators thwarted the will of the American public. Poll after poll shows that the public is in favor of medical liability reform - caps on noneconomic damages."
(Palmisano) "We don't see it dead for this year. We think the ... public will demand that this issue come up again. We believe it may come up again in the fall."
(Palmisano) "We don't believe that is an accurate number.... The American Medical Association position is: One error is one error too many. What we need to do is say, 'How can we prevent another error from occurring?' Errors do occur in medicine, and we have to admit that."