The Senate Judiciary Committee passed House Bill 1603 by President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee with bipartisan support today, advancing tort reform legislation to the Senate floor.
“The numbers don’t lie, and the numbers tell us that Oklahoma is sixth in the nation in medical students per capita, yet 49th in the nation in the number of active physicians,” said Coffee.
“Texas, as a result of passing comprehensive tort reform, has now made health coverage available to 430,000 more Texans, saving consumers south of the Red River $2.5 Billion in 2005. It’s the least we can do to keep health care affordable and accessible to all Oklahomans.”
In addition to the passage of HB 1603, Oklahoma physicians from across the state gathered at the State Capitol this morning warning about the crisis in access to care, and voicing their support of comprehensive tort reform.
“Oklahoma physicians made a very compelling case for comprehensive lawsuit reform today,” continued Coffee. “Try as the trial bar might, they cannot deny the deleterious effect our tort system is having on access to medical care in Oklahoma, particularly in the rural areas. As one doctor observed today, Texas is now importing our physicians and exporting their trial attorneys.
“I trust the trial bar will negotiate in good faith and the governor will follow the lead of a vast majority of Oklahomans who want to see real lawsuit reform enacted in Oklahoma.
“I also want to thank Representative Dan Sullivan for his tireless efforts on this legislation and his commitment to providing Oklahomans with the care they deserve.”
House Bill 1603 will now go to the full Senate for consideration.