Steve Reeb, a Republican member of the St. Clair County Board, says he has collected 6,714 signatures from county residents who favor a cap on jury awards as a solution to the Illinois medical malpractice crisis. Reeb
said the response, generated largely by word of mouth, is a sign that county residents of all political stripes agree that generous "pain and suffering" payouts have driven up malpractice insurance premiums, making it costly for doctors to do business in the Metro East area.
The plan, Reeb
said, is to deliver the signatures to U.S. Sen.
efforts on Washington because it did not appear likely in January that the Illinois Legislature would take up the issue.In addition, the Illinois Supreme Court
struck down an earlier tort reform law as unconstitutional, "so I thought that national reform was our best ticket," Reeb
said Durbin has yet to respond to his requests for a meeting.
A spokeswoman for Durbin said that Reeb
, to her knowledge, had not requested a meeting.
"When I see senior citizens coming to my front door - people I don't know - that tells me that, Democrat or Republican, they just want to see something done on this issue," Reeb
, who is running to become County Board chairman, said he
began by circulating an e-mail message to a few friends and colleagues.
"And because it got press, people started calling me and saying, 'What can I do to help?'" Reeb
Angarola added that medical malpractice reform is one of Durbin's top priorities in Congress this year, adding that Reeb
is welcome to drop by one of the senator's four offices with the petitions.