Everyone will admit that “fixing health care” is an enormous challenge facing our country and we will not solve this problem by asking the wrong set of questions. To date, most of the political rhetoric has been focused on changes required of the medical, business and insurance community. However, the real problems are the tort laws that impact health care.
Unfortunately for all taxpayers, Nancy Pelosi and over one-third of our congressional 162 members of the 441 (36%) members of the 111th Congress are lawyers or have a law degree. They support a tort industry that thrives on the huge contingency fees and damage awards of the tort industry.are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
It has gotten so bad that 30 states have limited awards on medical lawsuits. Texas placed limits on malpractice awards in 2003 and has seen a 50% drop in malpractice premiums, few lawsuits and a surge of new doctors ready to serve those communities. Alabama has seen hospitals actually close ER services because of a doctor shortage.
Now, back to Speaker Pelosi. Hidden in her 1,990-page health care bill is a provision that provides for incentive payments to states that develop an “alternative medical liability law”. The states will only qualify for these “incentives” if they “do not limit attorneys’ fees or impose caps on damages.”
The deeper you dig, the sicker you will feel, trust me.
Any health care bill that does not resolve the economic issues around health care (frivolous lawsuits) will never have any meaningful impact on real reform. Unfortunately, our leaders are more focused on protecting turf and political favors than improving and providing health care.