Daily Health Policy Report

Wisconsin: Business groups in the state have announced plans for a $2 million campaign to oppose recent state Supreme Court decisions that overturned a $350,000 state cap on noneconomic damages in malpractice lawsuits and reduced the requirements plaintiffs must meet to receive punitive damages, the AP/Washington Examiner reports (Ross, AP/Washington Examiner, 8/15). The state Supreme Court in July voted 4-3 that the cap violated equal protection rights in the state constitution. The state enacted the cap in 1995 (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 7/15). Health care and business groups maintain that the cap has helped to limit increases in malpractice insurance premium rates. Freedom Works plans to launch a campaign to overturn the state Supreme Court decisions with legislation. Meanwhile, in response to the decisions, a state legislative committee will study malpractice legislation that would address the concerns raised by the court. Some have said that state lawmakers might have to amend the state constitution to limit the ability of the court to review certain malpractice laws (AP/Washington Examiner, 8/15).