Thursday’s televised "summit" on health care proved to be a new forum in which Republican lawmakers could press again for limits on medical malpractice awards, and another opportunity for the plaintiffs bar to play defense.

At the start of the meeting, taking place about a block from the White House, one prominent Republican listed a tort overhaul as one of his party’s priorities. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who is third in the U.S. Senate’s GOP leadership, said there are too many "junk lawsuits against doctors."

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