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Newt: "F— the Lawyers!"

So the new popular buzz word with health care reform, right up there with “death panels” and “public option,” is “tort reform.” Simply put (since that’s all I’m smart enough to understand), it has to do with malpractice settlements and putting a cap on how much people can receive.

This is where Democrat special interest groups like trial lawyers come in, because they make lots of money off of malpractice settlements, yet for some reason there doesn’t seem to be room for “tort reform” in Obamacare. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the President doesn’t have the courage to stand up to the special interest groups that give his party lots of money (see unions, labor), or maybe it was Howard Dean speaking the truth when he said, “Tort reform is not in the bill because the people who wrote it did not want to take on the trial lawyers. And, that is the plain and simple truth.”

Either way many people (mainly conservatives) think that you can’t reform health care without tort reform being part of the solutions. This is where cats like Newt Gingrich come in because, besides offering criticism, he also throws out a few solutions…

While the White House and the Democratic leaders in Congress don’t want “to take on the trial lawyers,” they are apparently willing to fight with the doctors, the hospitals, the drug companies, the health insurance industry and even the American people on health reform. But they feel compelled to placate to the trial lawyers? Protecting trial lawyers at the expense of physicians is not in the best way to address health reform and it is not in the best interest of the American people.

At the Center for Health Transformation, we have developed several solutions which would advance patient safety and provide for fair and effective compensation for individuals who have legitimate claims. Our solutions establish accountability and encourage the disclosure of adverse medical events so future medical errors can be avoided. For example, we believe that physicians should be shielded from liability if they demonstrate the use of clinical best practices in the care and treatment of patients. Shielding physicians from liability when they use best practices would reduce defensive medicine and minimize the loss of competent health professionals driven out by the high cost of litigation insurance.

We also support the creation of specialized health courts to address medical malpractice cases as a rational civil justice reform. Even some Democrats have rallied around the health court solution. Former Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.), in a recent New York Times column, said “Malpractice tort reform can be something as commonsensical as the establishment of medical courts – similar to bankruptcy or admiralty courts – with special judges to make determinations in cases brought by parties claiming injury.”

It’s Newt and we do so love Newt Gingrich here at JBdotC, so by all means, take the time to read the full article. And keep it in mind next week when Dear Leader will be lecturing a join session of Congress that his “opponents” don’t seem to offer any solutions.

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2 responses to “Newt: "F— the Lawyers!"

  1. Mark Baird ⋅

    Remember the GOA report regarding the cost of a single payer system that we all grasped to support our arguments against a single payer system…

    Well they did a report on medical malpractice and could not find any evidence to substantiate the claims of lawsuits impacting health care costs, access to health care or defensive medicine (with one possible lose connection relating to OBGYN). But of course you will not see this report on any media outlet swinging left or right. http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03836.pdf

    Then there is the CBO report which had this to say about tort reform:

    “But even large savings in premiums can have only a small direct impact on health care spending–private or governmental–because malpractice costs account for less than 2 percent of that spending.”

    http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=4968&type=0#t3

    And of course there is Tillinghast-Towers Perrin (one of the largest in the world that provides risk management for the insurance and reinsurance industry).

    According to the actuarial consulting firm Towers Perrin, medical malpractice tort costs were $30.4 billion in 2007, the last year for which data are available. We have a more than a $2 trillion health care system. That puts litigation costs and malpractice insurance at 1 to 1.5 percent of total medical costs. That’s a rounding error. Liability isn’t even the tail on the cost dog. It’s the hair on the end of the tail.

    Of that 1 to 1.5 percent what portion of that is “frivolous”?

    http://www.towersperrin.com/tp/getwebcachedoc?webc=USA/2008/200811/2008_tort_costs_trends.pdf (Page 10)

    And then of course the report from Towers Perrin that states that the total tort cost in the US is 2% of the GDP. What percentage of that is “frivolous” and of that percentage what percentage is “frivolous” corporate lawsuits. So how much are “frivolous” lawsuits driving up the cost of everything? Maybe less than 2 cents on the dollar or maybe even less the 1 cent on the dollar?

    http://www.towersperrin.com/tp/getwebcachedoc?webc=USA/2008/200811/2008_tort_costs_trends.pdf

  2. So the idea that there are so many medical malpractice cases that they need their own court. Not what’s not only based upon faulty numbers but also sounds crazy. Tort Reformers want caps to shield those responsible from tat responsibility. It’s not aimed at frivolous claims or anything else. Back to Bush/Rove mantra of attack the lawyers, it’s silly. Read your piece avian and ask why over all attorneys, that for many years were overall very nonpartisan, were pushed into the arms of the Democrats.

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