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Sunday, November 1, 2009

House Health Care Reform Bill; Lawyers get a Treat / We get Tricked!

It has pretty well been established by both sides (or at least we thought both sides) that some sort of tort reform on medical malpractice suits needs to be addressed in any discussion about fixing some of the problems with the health care problems in this country.

For obvious reasons, one being campaign donations, the left has done nothing towards addressing this problem in any of their versions of the so-called health care reform bills they are pushing.

In fact, in the latest 1,900 page House version, not only has Speaker Pelosi left out any tort reform, it appears the PVC Princess is shilling for the trial lawyers.

From Big Government --

"...check out this juicy morsel to the trial lawyers (page 1431-1433 of the bill):

Section 2531, entitled “Medical Liability Alternatives,” establishes an incentive program for states to adopt and implement alternatives to medical liability litigation. [But]…… a state is not eligible for the incentive payments if that state puts a law on the books that limits attorneys’ fees or imposes caps on damages.

So, you can’t try to seek alternatives to lawsuits if you’ve actually done something to implement alternatives to lawsuits. Brilliant! The trial lawyers must be very happy today!

While there is debate over the details, it is clear that medical malpractive lawsuits have some impact on driving health care costs higher. There are likely a number of procedures that are done simply as a defense against future possible litigation.
Recall this from the Washington Post:

“Lawmakers could save as much as $54 billion over the next decade by imposing an array of new limits on medical malpractice lawsuits, congressional budget analysts said today — a substantial sum that could help cover the cost of President Obama’s overhaul of the nation’s health system. New research shows that legal reforms would not only lower malpractice insurance premiums for medical providers, but would also spur providers to save money by ordering fewer tests and procedures aimed primarily at defending their decisions in court, Douglas Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, wrote in a letter to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).”

Keep up them calls -- we can stop this tragedy in the making!

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