Cause Of Rising Health Care Costs – TORTS

The Congressional Budget Office, nonpartisans it would appear (and so they are described by media), suggests (Fig. 1 below) that it is tort reform that will solve much of the problem with rising health care costs. That, and increasing competition between insurance companies across state boundaries, are the most important changes we need in health care.

Several states, including Mississippi and West Virginia, have had miraculous success (see below) reasonably limiting tort actions against practitioners.

Reign in the lawyers, and stop the restriction in competition across state lines. We already have the best health care in the world. The last thing we need is Obamacare –
unless we want Obama bureaucratic czars (predominantly Marxists) interfering with our health care, and interceding between us and our doctors, like in Cuba – which is what Obamacare is.

Why has Obama or Baucus or any other Democrat not mentioned tort reform? Obama and congress are lawyers, and Democrats. A fatal combination when it comes to free markets, liberty, and high quality health care.

Read about the Mississippi Miracle (tort reform), here: ALEC’s Tort Reform Success

That comprehensive tort reform is a challenge to enact
is an understatement. However, the societal benefits
are well worth it. Just ask the people of Mississippi. In
2004, after four years of effort, Gov. Haley Barbour
signed comprehensive legislation into law. Often
referred to as the “Mississippi Miracle,” tort reform had
to overcome the significant trial lawyer presence in the
legislature and the state which had earned Mississippi a
reputation for having the nation’s worst tort climate.
Before this law was passed, doctors (particularly
specialists like obstetricians) left for states like Louisiana
where malpractice insurance premiums were one-fourth
of those in Mississippi, and seventy-one insurance
companies stopped doing business in Mississippi. In
perhaps the most ironic example, after 60 Minutes
aired an expose on the “judicial hellhole” known as
the 22nd judicial circuit, the local CBS affiliate, the
show’s producers, and several individuals who relayed
their experiences
found themselves
defendants in a
defamation law
suit. [. . . ]
Mississippi’s business and medical
communities and consequently its citizens have
benefited significantly from the 2004 reforms.
The Mississippi experience is not unique. Michigan,
which became a model for a strong legal climate
after enacting its comprehensive reform nine years
ago, has been ranked number one in the nation for
five years running in the creation of new plants and
business expansions by Expansion Management by
Site Selection Magazine. In Texas, hospitals reported
that medical liability premiums rose more than 50
percent in 2003. Subsequently, Texas enacted one of the
most comprehensive bills in the nation and hospitals
reported a 17 percent drop in premiums the following
year. In the first 10 months following the enforcement
of the legislation, lawsuits filed against hospitals
declined 70 percent. In addition, 10 new insurance
carriers are attempting to enter the Texas market and
numerous insurers have dramatically lowered their rates.
After West Virginia passed a series of reforms, lower
premiums have increased the number of new physicians
in the state by nearly 100 since hitting a low of 305 in
2000. “Miracles” have happened in every state that has
enacted such reforms

Don Surber CBO: Tort reform would save $41 billion

Most Significant Factor in Health Costs - TORTS

Most Significant Factor in Health Costs - TORTS

There was a big hullabaloo about how Obamacare will “reduce” the deficit by $81 billion despite its $829 billion price tag.

Americans could save $41 billion a year at a cost of zero dollars.

Tort reform — ending the practice of turning two-bit lawyers like John Edwards into instant millionaires — would ratchet down costs, not only in malpractice insurance but also in tests and treatments.

You still get compensated if a doctor screws up. You just don’t become a millionaire.

Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Elmendorf wrote lawmakers on Friday: “Recent research has provided additional evidence that lowering the cost of medical malpractice tends to reduce the use of health care services.”

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley: “It’s a no-brainer to include tort reform in any health care legislation.”

It worked in West Virginia. We were running out of doctors. When the big hospital in Charleston dropped to Level III trauma care because of a doctor shortage, even the trial lawyer’s best friend — the Charleston Gazette — had to admit it was time for a change.

It worked in West Virginia. It can work in all 50 states.

AP article here: Report: Limiting medical lawsuits could save $41B


One Response

  1. Ohio has been a more humane place to practice medicine since tort freform was enacted here, not an easy task. We’re now sued less often since the opportunity for ‘jackpot justice’ has been reduced. States need to do the right thing since we will receive no relief from the Fed government, despite the Congressional Budget Office’s conclusion that tort reform would save tens of billions of dollars.
    See under Legal Quality category for candid views on this from a physician who has been victimized by the system.

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