The State Senate has spent a second day debating tort reform – an effort that would include helping doctors who are forced to pay ever increasing malpractice insurance premiums. Supporters say lawmakers must take action to prevent doctors from retiring early or moving to other states where premiums are lower. Critics say the legislation would hurt the right of Missourians to sue when they have been wronged. The effort has political overtones, with Republicans claiming malpractice premiums are going through the roof because of lawsuits – some of them frivolous – being brought by trial attorneys. Trial attorneys contribute heavily to political campaigns – with their dollars going mostly to Democrats. Republicans charge this is why Democrats are fighting so hard to prevent this legislation from becoming law. Debate continues Friday and could continue into the weekend.
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