Dr. David Gill, an independent-minded Democrat running for Congress in Illinois' 15th District against five-term incumbent Tim Johnson, spoke out forcefully today regarding last week's decision by the Illinois Supreme Court that found Illinois' 2005 malpractice reforms to be unconstitutional. Gill, an Emergency Room doctor in Bloomington, issued the following statement:
"This ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court serves as further evidence of the need for malpractice reform at the federal level. Having practiced medicine for more than 20 years, I understand the illogical and unjust nature of our current system of malpractice laws. This flawed system does little to protect legitimate victims; rather, it results in overly defensive medicine and unnecessary tests, bringing great harm to patients everywhere. A system that pushes doctors to order unnecessary and costly CT scans of toddlers' heads, delivering large amounts of potentially harmful radiation without regard to the long-term effects, is a system that can no longer be tolerated.
"My opponent, Tim Johnson, is a career politician who also worked for many years as an attorney. During his lengthy political career, he has exhibited no interest in working toward necessary and practical reforms of medical malpractice laws. Amazingly, Mr. Johnson was recently the only Republican in the U.S. House to vote against the Republican version of health care reform. The Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette reported on November 10, 2009, "Johnson, an attorney, said he was opposed to provisions that limited damages in malpractice cases.'
"The residents of our Congressional district are poorly served by such closed-mindedness. Federal malpractice reform is long overdue, and I look forward to having the opportunity to go to Washington to help make such a reform a reality, as a means of improving the lives of all Americans."