Daschle: Tort Reform "On The Table"

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
As if taking his case to the most powerful physicians group in the United States to push his controversial health care proposals wasn't a big enough headline, a New York Times report says President Obama has been working behind the scenes to protect doctors from malpractice lawsuits.

"Tort reform is going to be on the table," Mr. Obama's initial nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle told The Early Show Monday.

Daschle, whose nomination was doomed over his failure to pay roughly $140,000 in taxes and interest, said reforming rules surrounding medical liability was an important issue to tackle.

The South Dakota Democrat said "there's a clear understanding" that health costs are out of control.

In the Times article, a Democrat close to the president said broaching the subject of malpractice reform was a "credibility builder" that could keep doctors and Republicans interested in reaching a comprehensive health care deal.

"He's touched on this issue at a number of meetings," Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., told the Times. Wyden, who supports liability reform, said Mr. Obama has "the common sense message that if doctors act in line with their own professional guidelines, that ought to create a certain presumption that they have acted reasonably."

President Obama will take his case for health care reform to the American Medical Association Monday afternoon.

Click here to read the entire New York Times article.