Tucson Daily Citizen from Tucson, Arizona on February 12, 1976 · Page 15
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Tucson Daily Citizen from Tucson, Arizona · Page 15

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Tucson, Arizona
Issue Date:
Thursday, February 12, 1976
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Page 15
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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 1976 Senate begins debate on malpractice bill By WILLIAM ACTON Cltiim Phoenix Bureau PHOENIX -- The full Senate began debate on the medical malpractice insurance bill today after its Health and Welfare Committee formally approved major revisions in the House-passed version. Majority Leader Alfredo Gutierrez, D-Phoenix, predicted more than enough votes to clear the Senate and send the bill to a House-Senate conference committee. Asked if he expected Arizona doctors to stage a slowdown such as the one in California if Gov. Raul H. Castro signs the legislation, Gutierrez said, "If we did nothing, there would be a reason for a slowdown. With this legislation, I doubt if there is a compelling reason to slow down. Malpractice insurance will be available and it will be affordable." Doctors in California staged their slowdown to protest that Turley flays judges PHOENIX (AP) -- Sen. Stan Turley, R-Mesa, angrily denounced federal judges for pressing a suit against the government to obtain pay boosts. "At a time when the courts, judges and the justice system are in disrepute, it is appalling to me that 44 federal judges have filed suit to force the government to give them a pay raise," Turley said yesterday on the Senate floor. With the economy in disarray and high unemployment, Turley said, Americans everywhere are taking unusual measures to "make ends meet." "With the pressures to hold the line at all levels, these great public servants, paid a minimum of $40,000 a year with appointment for life and the most generous pension system in government and other amenities, have the audacity, not to ask, but to sue for salary increases," he said. state's malpractice insurance legislation. Conference committee meetings probably will start early next week, Gutierrez said. Major changes in the Senate version include: --Increasing the time a person can file a malpractice suit from two years after the medical procedure (the House version) to four years. --Allowing court review of lawyers' fees. The House wants a sliding limit on fees. --Permitting state subsidization nf catastrophic malpractice losses due to abortions. The House banned any such subsidization. --Allowing malpractice juries to subtract only medical i n s u r a n c e b e n e f i t s from damages awarded victims. The House wanted the juries to be able to deduct all benefits, inchirttog income maintenance such as Social Security. A study commission, another Senate addition to the bill, would make an in-depth study of Arizona's malpractice problem. The aim of the commission is to recommend a permanent solution, Gutierrez said. The bill now being considered is only a temporary solution, he said. 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