President Barack Obama ordered on Thursday that $25 million be made available in grants to examine alternatives to the current medical liability system.

The order comes in a two-page memorandum (pdf) to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The grants could mean changes for a system that the plaintiffs bar has lobbied to protect, but they stop short of the nationwide limits on malpractice torts that doctors and insurance companies have sought.

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