Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tort Reform Would Save $54 billion over 10 years, Says Congressional Budget Office

President Obama said in his health care address to a joint session of Congress that he would consider including tort reform in his plan. Sen. Orrin Hatch asked the CBO for an analysis. The CBO found medical malpractice reform would save the government $54 billion over 10 years. There five different versions of health care reform legislation in Congress now. The amount of tort reform in the the bills is zero. There 43 million reasons President Obama won't push for tort reform. Fox News reported:

Medical malpractice reform would reduce the annual federal deficit, saving the government $54 billion over 10 years, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.

The finding bolsters one of Republicans' top health care reform proposals, and provides them with momentum to press for tort reform to be included President Obama's sweeping health care legislation.

"I think that this is an important step in the right direction and these numbers show that this problem deserves more than lip service from policy-makers," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, which is to vote on its version of health care reform on Tuesday.

"Unfortunately, up to now, that has been all the president and his Democratic allies in Congress have been willing to provide on these issues," Hatch said in a written statement. "I look forward to having a continued comprehensive dialogue on this critical issue with CBO."

Many doctors pay $100,000 to $250,000 a year in malpractice insurance even if they've never had a judgment against them. Neurology leads the list of high-cost malpractice insurance. Obstetrics isn't far behind.

Supporters of tort reform argue that expense doesn't just drive up the price of medical care, it also leads to defensive medicine, meaning doctors order all sorts of tests they wouldn't otherwise order just to make sure they won't get sued.

Opponents of medical malpractice reforms say it is unfair to limit awards to individuals legitimately injured by a doctor's negligence.

Obama said last month in his address to a joint session of Congress that he would consider including tort reform in his plan.

1 comment:

  1. Yes! Tort reform! Any health care bill MUST have this to even be considered. You doctors out there who support government health care, first consider how much more good you can do and how much more money can actually be spent on meaningful reform if lawyers and skyrocketing malpractice payments weren't affecting the care model. We cannot accept anything less!