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Vote Explanation

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, I ask that it be submitted to the RECORD that I inadvertently missed the vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 22, the Medical Care Access Protection Act of 2006, due to unavoidable airline flight delays. Had I been present, I would have voted ``yea.''

Americans are going to spend $2.3 trillion this year on health care. One out of every three dollars does not go to help anybody get well. We are never going to be able to compete globally if we cannot control the health care costs in this country. The threat of medical liability raises the cost of health care for everybody in this country.

Only 16 percent of the lawsuits that are filed across the entire country have any merit whatsoever--84 percent of them are filled with the idea that we can intimidate people into settling a case so a lawyer can make money. It has nothing to do with the patient. It has everything to do with enriching the trial bar. I have experienced that personally as a physician who has delivered over 4,000 children into this world.

We have a problem with out of control medical liability--the cost of defensive medicine alone is up to $126 billion per year. We can fix those problems. But we can't fix them by protecting special interest groups that have been protected for years--special interest groups that claim they want to do something great for people but who most of the time are motivated to do something great for themselves.

The Medical Care Access Protection Act of 2006 is based on the successful Texas model of medical liability reform. It's a solution to the problem that is already getting results.

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