Published: Feb 15, 2011 5:53 PM EST
Updated: Feb 15, 2011 2:53 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) - Administration officials say President Barack Obama wants states to rewrite their medical malpractice laws to cut down on wasteful tests doctors perform because they fear lawsuits.

Obama's budget calls for $250 million in Justice Department grants to help states change their laws in line with recommendations a bipartisan commission issued last year.

Specific reforms exclude caps on jury awards that the American Medical Association and GOP lawmakers have unsuccessfully pursued for years. But they do include measures that have been unacceptable to trial lawyers, an interest group that contributes heavily to Democrats.

Topping the list are health courts in which specially trained judges - not juries - would decide malpractice cases.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)