As the healthcare debate continues, more pundits, experts and legislatures are coming to the conclusion that real, substantial tort reform must be included in any final reform package. Here are just a few of the comments from around the US just yesterday;
Arizona Sentator John Kyl on FOX News
“And one of the biggest contributors to that is our medical malpractice system, or the lawsuit abuse problem that results in the “jackpot justice” that I wrote about. That is something that the Democratic leadership and the president have been unwilling to address, and the reason is very simple. Howard Dean, former national Democrat chairman, said in a town hall meeting in northern Virginia on August 17th that the reason that tort reform is not in the legislation is very simple. And that is, the authors of the bill did not want to take on the trial lawyers.”
June Bower in the Creston News Advisor
“What is not debatable, however, is that doctors are paying an exorbitant amount of money for malpractice insurance, and they are opting out of performing many medical procedures for fear of being sued. We need their medical services, especially in rural Iowa, and to lose this care hurts us all.
I’ve come to the conclusion it’s shortsighted not to include tort reform in a health care reform bill. What can it hurt? If it makes Republicans happy, why fight it? If that’s what it takes to get a bipartisan bill passed, I say go for it.”
Justin Engle on Mlive.com
“Physicians practice medicine with the burden of excessive medical malpractice insurance and the constant fear of trial lawyers seeking unbelievable and unwarranted cash awards, of which a large percentage goes to the attorney that sued… Physicians often feel pressure to order excessive testing merely to cover their bases and help guard against malpractice claims. This leads to reductions in quality, a less efficient system, and unnecessary and unsustainable financial burdens to society.”
Brett Chase on Portfolio.com
“Historically, tort reform has been a nonstarter with Democrats, who get a lot of campaign money and political backing from the nation’s trial lawyers. But at least one Democrat, former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley, is suggesting that they let down their guard on this issue to get health reform passed.
“The bipartisan trade-off in a viable health care bill is obvious: Combine universal coverage with malpractice tort reform in health care,” Bradley wrote in a New York Times op-ed.”
Medical Justice has said for years that tort reform makes sense. More and more people are coming to this same conclusion.