A Final Word About Gutting Medical Malpractice

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For the last two weeks I have written about Republican plans to gut medical malpractice litigation during the process of replacing the Affordable Care Act.  While they claim there is a crisis, the leading insurers of medical malpractice say the opposite:  malpractice insurance rates have been going down for over ten years.  Malpractice filings are half of what they were only a few years ago.  Even the statistics cited by Tom Price, the nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services and a leading proponent of gutting medical malpractice, are over ten years old.  He just can’t find any recent statistics to support his claim of a crisis.

Last week representatives of five major doctor groups went to Capitol Hill to lobby Congress about what they want to see in any replacement of the Affordable Care Act.  There were representatives of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Osteopathic Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.  Together these groups represent 500,000 physicians and medical students.  While they wanted certain things like continued coverage for the poor, continued Medicaid coverage, coverage for pregnant women and the like, the one thing they did not ask for was a change to the laws relating to medical malpractice cases.  That is simply not a priority for anyone but hard liners looking for an opportunity to do what they have not been able to do over the last twenty years.  Here is a link to a news release from the five groups about their efforts before Congress.

Medical malpractice is a leading cause of death and injury in the United States.  Those programs which have been most successful in reducing malpractice claims and malpractice premium rates have been those which focused on improving patient safety and reducing malpractice.  Caps on recoveries and other measures to artificially limit medical malpractice claims have been ineffective in reducing costs and have certainly done nothing to improve medical care or patient safety.

Don’t let them take away your rights.  Don’t you be the person whose wife or child was killed by medical malpractice only to find that greedy politicians had decided that their life was only worth $250,000.00.  We entrust juries with issues of life and death.  Why can’t we entrust them to decide the value of a life or the value of a significant injury?  While the jury system has flaws, it will do until we craft a better way to compensate the victims of medical malpractice.

Posted in Doctors, Health Care Costs, Lawsuits, Malpractice caps, Malpractice costs, Medical Costs, medical errors, Medical Malpractice, medical malpractice cases, medical malpractice claims, medical malpractice lawsuits, medical mistakes, Medical Negligence, tort reform |