Advocates of medical malpractice reform have been claiming that reform would save the federal government (and taxpayers) between $100 billion and $200 billion a year. These figures have stood at the forefront of the debate on malpractice reform, and have come to be taken for granted as true. Purportedly, saving the country a great deal of money has been one of the tort reformers’ key objectives.
So what do the tort reformers say when they discover that this week, the Congressional Budget Office reported that, contrary to previous claims, malpractice reform is highly unlikely to have a significant impact on government health care spending? That in fact, caps on pain-and-suffering and punitive damages will only lower spending by three tenths of one percent?
Unbelievably, they say Wow, great. That’s really a lot. A whole three tenths of one percent! That’s $11 billion!
Lisa Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform, called the analysis "momentous." "Today’s CBO analysis should underscore what two-thirds of voters have said: Congress should include meaningful medical liability reform in the healthcare reform bill," she said. –LA Times
Malpractice reformers need to stop spinning the numbers pretending to fight for the noble taxpayer, and be honest about their true motives for reform: they want less corporate accountability and more corporate control over the lives of individual Americans. They want corporations like insurance companies and drug manufacturers to reap endless profits while patients who are truly injured during treatment have no legal recourse. Why do they want this? Because corporations fund their political careers.
Malpractice reform will not save the country a significant amount of money, and will only contribute to the number of people who are killed every year by preventable errors.