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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.

3 Comments

  1. Gravatar for Mike Bryant

    The question has to be asked over and over: Who are you trying to save money for. it will save money for the Insurance companies and it will save money for the bad doctors that make up most of the malpractice. But, as you point out it won't help with the issue at hand.

  2. Gravatar for Penny Lane

    Instead of doctors getting angry at attorneys, they should hire these same attorneys and sue their medical malpractice insurance companies for over charging them. Then they should testify in cases against CIGNA, Aetna, United Healthcare, and all the other health care providers that routinely deny every legitimate claim. These doctors have to spend endless hours fighting with a nurse or low level person, whose only job is to deny benefits. The system is broken and medical malpractice cases are not a part of the problem.

  3. Gravatar for Michael Kirsch, M.D.
    Michael Kirsch, M.D.

    Mike, I think you should talk to your own physician to understand the issue from a very different vantage point. I am a physician. My dad, at attorney, did medical malpractice work. I know both sides of the argument well. I think the medical folks have the better argument. See www.MDWhistleblower.blogspot.com under Legal Quality category.

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