Governor Matt Blunt praises passage of litigation reform in the House. The bill now goes to the Senate. Blunt says the litigation system holds the state back, costing it doctors. Blunt blames high medical malpractice insurance premiums on huge jury awards in civil cases. Some doctors say the cost of insurance has caused them to close their practice or move from the state. Blunt says broad litigation reform is needed, because doctors aren’t the only ones suffering. Blunt brushes aside criticism of him expressed during House debate. The top Democrat in the House contends Blunt is standing with big drug companies, big tobacco and asbestos manufacturers in pushing for litigation reform. Blunt says he stands with the state’s small business owners and the people in calling for reform.