Aug 1, 2017

Malpractice reform bill that passed House largely written by lobbyists

Cliff Owen / AP

A bill drastically reforming federal medical malpractice law — capping damages for plaintiffs and lowering fees for attorneys — passed the House last month with no hearings in a form nearly identical to a version drafted by the Physicians Insurers Association of America, a lobbyist group for doctors and their insurers, leading the group to publicly boast about its achievement, per the Washington Post.

Bills don't often move through a whole chamber of Congress without any edits, especially on such a complicated topic. Moreover, this bill didn't have any public hearings — a practice that some on the left argue is beneficial for lobbyists and special interest groups.

Why it matters: Lobbyists — and their influence — are a fact of life in Washington, impacting nearly every piece of legislation. However, the House's move to push through a far-reaching malpractice bill without any public input is unusual. The bill has languished in the Senate thus far and if it ever got a vote, it would be unlikely to get the 60 votes needed to pass.

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In photos: India welcomes president with massive "Namaste Trump" rally

First Lady Melania Trump, President Trump and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend the "Namaste Trump" rally at Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, on Monday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

India was honoring President Trump and members of the U.S. first family with massive celebrations after they arrived at Sardar Vallabhbhai International Airport in Ahmedabad in the country's northwest Monday for a two-day visit.

Why it matters: The countries are forging deeper ties as India’s location, size and economic growth making it the "obvious counterweight to China" for American policymakers, per Axios' Dave Lawler and Zachary Basu. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is demonstrating the importance of the visit by holding a "Namaste Trump Rally" at a packed 110,000-capacity Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad — the world's largest cricket venue.

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Concern over coronavirus spread: Italy, South Korea and Iran report more cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The number of novel coronavirus cases in South Korea, Italy and Iran jumped on Sunday as infections in mainland China continued to grow, the latest figures show.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures amid rising case numbers, World Health Organization officials expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,619 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

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Sanders reveals free childcare plan for preschoolers

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally on Saturday in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Cengiz Yar/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday a new plan to guarantee free child care and pre-kindergarten to all American children from infancy to age four.

Details: In the wide-ranging interview, Sanders told Anderson Cooper he planned to pay for universal childcare with a wealth tax. "It's taxes on billionaires," he said.

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