Friday, May 6, 2011

New article on medical malpractice reform and how it will increase the deficit

In a new short article, Joanne Doroshow, of the Center for Justice and Democracy, argues that medical malpractice reform will likely increase the deficit.  The article starts as follows:

"When people talk about medical malpractice "reform," they are usually not talking about reducing the epidemic of medical errors in hospitals or instituting proven measures to actually reduce injuries, deaths, claims and lawsuits. No, they're usually talking about making it more difficult for patients injured by medical negligence, including catastrophically-injured children, to be compensated.

Despite the enormous hardships on innocent patients caused by these measures, or the fact that they shift compensation burdens onto others, there is an argument circulating that these measures are worth enacting because they will reduce the deficit."

Well, no they won't. In fact, they will likely increase it.
Read the full article here.  Here is its conclusion:

"I have testified in Congress on this topic twice since January, and both times, I have tried to make clear that taking away the rights of the most seriously injured in our society has been and continues to be a failed public policy. This is the wrong way to respond to the important economic problems that face this country. Tort restrictions will add to the deficit and will reduce the financial incentive of institutions like hospitals and HMOs to operate safely, when our objectives should be deterring unsafe and substandard medical practices while safeguarding patients' rights. And effective insurance reforms are the only way to stop the insurance industry from abusing its enormous economic influence, which it uses to promote a legislative agenda that bilks taxpayers and severely hurts the American public."

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