Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why health care reform will not work

The Dem majority will not make their trial lawyer affinity group benefactors mad by insisting that meaningful tort reform be part of any package.


"But this is the one reform Washington will not seriously consider. That's because the trial lawyers, among the largest contributors to the Democratic Party, thrive on the unreliable justice system we have now.

Almost all the other groups with a stake in health reform—including patient safety experts, physicians, the AARP, the Chamber of Commerce, schools of public health—support pilot projects such as special health courts that would move beyond today's hyper-adversarial malpractice lawsuit system to a court that would quickly and reliably distinguish between good and bad care. The support for some kind of reform reflects a growing awareness among these groups that managing health care sensibly, including containing costs, is almost impossible when doctors go through the day thinking about how to protect themselves from lawsuits."


  1. I don't think anyone could seriously argue that defensive medicine doesn't add a good bit to healthcare costs. Clearly it does. But there is little evidence that limiting the damages that can be awarded to those who have been grievously injured through negligence will lower the overall healthcare costs of you and me.

    In fact, we have some solid data that demonstrates that health care costs are no lower in states that have enacted caps on damages in medical malpractice suits. And doctors in those states seem to be paying just as much for malpractice insurance as doctors in states that don't have caps on damages.

    So, if capping damages isn't saving patients money. And it isn't saving doctors money. Who is the primary beneficiary? You guessed it! The insurance companies.

    But my point isn't to beat up on the insurance companies. Though God knows they are an easy target. And deservedly so.

    My point is that tort reform, while a case can be made for it, is not the panacea for reducing health care costs that it is being portrayed to be by those who have a major financial interest in maintaining the insane status quo in the area of healthcare and those whose primary interest is in defeating the president rather than see any reform to a system that only a madman could look at and pronounce rational.

  2. I have some information that indicates it's more significant than the current pushback would want people to believe.

    I'll see if I can find it.

  3. Here's the piece I was looking for. I could only find it in cached version.

    PricewaterhouseCoopers says 10% of the cost of health care services is attributable to medical malpractice.

    "Nearly 10% of the cost of health care services, figures PricewaterhouseCoopers, is attributable to medical malpractice lawsuits. Roughly 2% is caused by direct costs of the lawsuits while an additional 5% to 9% is due to expenses run up by defensive medicine.

    PricewaterhouseCoopers also found that half of health care costs are due to wasteful spending and said that defensive medicine is the biggest producer of waste."

  4. And speaking of beneficiaries, who was the biggest beneficiary of the Trial Lawyers' generous campaign war chest in the 08 election cycle?

    You guessed it!

    Barack Obama, with a take equal to nearly half of the TOTAL given to ALL the candidates during the primary and general election runs.

    Imagine that!