Got An Opinion on Tort Reform?
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Medscape’s new headline trumpets: “Tort Reform Bill Would Reduce Deficit by $40 Billion”. Sounds pretty intoxicating doesn’t it. Aren’t we all just dying to see the deficit shrivel down to where it was when Bill Clinton was in office? I sure am.
However, after reading several paragraphs, I am horrified to see the unreasonable limits they want to set on noneconomic damages. I have heard too many stories of amputations of the wrong limb to think that a pittance is a reasonable payout for sloppy workmanship. Read on:
Tort Reform Bill Would Reduce Deficit by $40 Billion
By: Robert Lowe
March 11, 2011 — A House bill that caps noneconomic damages in malpractice cases at $250,000 and enacts other reforms to curb frivolous lawsuits against clinicians would reduce the federal deficit by $40 billion from 2011 to 2021, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
The bill, called the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-Cost Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2011, would lower premiums for malpractice insurance and reduce the number of “defensive medicine” services ordered by clinicians to avoid getting sued, the CBO stated in an analysis released yesterday. As a result of these lower costs, direct federal spending on healthcare would decrease by $34 billion over 10 years.
In addition, lower costs on the provider side would cause premiums for private health insurance to fall, which would allow employers to increase taxable wages for employees. That, in turn, would boost federal tax revenue by roughly $6 billion. (more…)