Medical malpractice premiums are increasing faster thaninsurers' claims costs, according to a study by an insuranceconsumer advocacy group that has drawn fire from a trade group.

The report was derided by a property-casualty trade associationrepresentative as "laughable if this was not such a serioussubject."

His salvo came after Wednesday's House of Representatives voteto approve a measure capping non-economic "pain and suffering"awards in medical malpractice suits at $250,000. While the Househas approved the bill several times previously, the measure hasalways died in the Senate.

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