Friable Thoughts

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

US Senate debate on asbestos to open Feb 6

Specter confirms recent speculation that this will be the first item on the agenda when the Senate comes back from recess. As strange as it may seem, many of the issues they thought would be "resolved" in 2003, 2004 and 2005 still appear to be in dispute. Some aren't too thrilled with the medical criteria. Others claim the fund isn't big enough. It seems every interest group has a gripe about the bill.

Normally, the "screw'em all" approach might indicate a fair bill but most of these gripes go to the heart of the purpose of the bill: adequately compensating legitimate claims, excluding bogus claims all while staying solvent and being more cost efficient than resorting to the courts. I don't expect amendments on the Senate floor to be more effective than the three years of horse trading in committee but, we'll see in the next few months.


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