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For two years in a row, President Obama used part of his State of the Union speech to endorse, generally, legislation designed to reduce wasteful health care costs by reforming the medical liability system. The idea is to limit so-called "defensive medicine" wherein doctors prescribe unnecessary tests, treatments and referrals fortheir patients in order to protect themselves against potential lawsuits. Those extra tests are a major drag on the medical system, possibly costing the system up to $210 billion annually. Today, the House of Representatives is taking the first step in passing medical liability reform legislation. Their bill, the "Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-Cost, Timely Healthcare Act," is scheduled for an Energy and Commerce Committee mark-up to begin this afternoon and be continued tomorrow morning.

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