Buried on page 1431: Potemkin tort reform

by Ted Frank on October 30, 2009

Commentary’s Jennifer Rubin notices:

A friend points out a little nugget of absurdity and political mendacity in the Pelosi health-care bill. Remember Obama’s effort to try a “test” for tort reform? (We don’t actually need a test, since it has worked to lower medical malpractice coverage and help increase access to doctors in states that have tried it.) Well, Pelosi’s bill has an anti-tort-reform measure. On pages 1431-1433 of the 1990-page spellbinder, there is a financial incentive for states to try “alternative medical liability laws.” But look — you don’t get the incentive if you have a law that would “limit attorneys’ fees or impose caps on damages.”

In other words, Congress is providing a financial incentive to uncap damages. Marvelous.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Anti-reform incentives in House health bill
10.31.09 at 10:21 am
anti-Liberty Democrats by the numbers [Darleen Click]
11.21.09 at 7:56 pm

{ 10 comments }

1 Todd Rogers 10.30.09 at 3:57 pm

Your words suggest that you’re somehow surprised by this. Could this be why, in part, that the bill was crafted in NSA-like secrecy?

2 Todd Rogers 10.30.09 at 3:58 pm

Correction…HER words, she’s surprised.

3 Michael Kirsch, M.D 10.31.09 at 9:30 am

His ‘test’ for tort reform was $25 million, a pittance in a $1 trillion dollar (so far) ‘reform’ effort. Testing if tort reform works is like testing if penicillin works. They’ll do any stall and delay maneuver to prevent implementing meaningful and fair tort reform. They’d rather tax us than capture the windfill billions of dollars that the medical malpractice system incinerates.

4 Stella Baskomb 10.31.09 at 12:27 pm

Someone elected these fools.

It sure wasn’t me.

But Obama DID get 65 million votes last year. I don’t think a fair-minded person can blame Obama for doing what he said he would do, and for being what he is. Neither was exactly a mystery before last November.

5 William Nuesslein 10.31.09 at 12:46 pm

Stella,

At one of the debates Mrs. Clinton pledged no Yucca Mountain in a Clinton Administration. Mr. Obama did not concur in that hideously ignorant pledge. He was positive about Nuclear Power. Mr. Obama spoke in sentences and seemed reasonable in othe ways. He distanced himself from the Reverends Jackson and Shapton and he took a reference to Jena Justice out of his stump speech.

I have been unpleasantly surprised by President Obama’s crazy views of the law and his association with environmental nuts. But then again “no-child-left-behind” was an intellectual disaster. I have no hope.

I wanted our president and our country to be respected in the world. His fellow leaders seem to like President Obama, and I am grateful for that.

6 Invid 10.31.09 at 1:24 pm

OMG, William, you believed the teleprompter?

I have a bridge for sale! Great price!

7 William Nuesslein 11.02.09 at 8:14 am

For Invid: Did the Nobel Prize come from a teleprompter?

I came across some writingsabout a collection of people who believe Paul Offit to be the devil incarnate. He is a terrific guy who invented a vaccine that saves and improves the lives of children. How can these people – well educated in the sense of going to school a long time – hold such obviously false beliefs? It bewilders me how Senator Harken and others believe the crazy talk about Autism and Vaccines. These people live in their own anti-science world.

Mr. Obama cannot understand that various activists and others in his melieu are more than nuts. They are as much a threat to our country as are the crazy neo-cons. Mrs. Clinton is just as bad, maybe worse, in this regard.

Maybe we can vote for Mr. Hukabee who has trouble with evolution.

8 Norris Hall 11.10.09 at 3:51 pm

What a joke.

The same Conservatives who say government can’t do anything right and should stop imposing unnecessary and arbitrary regulations now want government to intervene in the court system and overrule the judgment of an experienced judge and 12 citizens chosen by two private industry lawyers.

Conservatives now say the government should regulate jury awards by placing arbitrary caps of $250,000 on jury awards….. even after a jury of 12 citizens , who have listened carefully to both sides of an arguement, deliberated for hours and finally decided for the plaintiff and against a doctor who has been grossly negligent.

Conservatives can never make up their minds.

Hopefully they’ll remember their position on government interference in private lawsuits when the government attempts to impose restrictions on insurance companies, doctors, hospitals and drug companies…who all bleed every nickel out of the hard working American public.

9 Sam Phobos 11.27.09 at 12:42 pm

W. Nuesslein: “Did the Nobel Prize come from a teleprompter.” Is that a straight line? Even confirmed lefties knocked the selection. Obama was nominated less than in two weeks into his administration, for something that did not happen, namely the “Obama Effect”, the idea that global jubilation over the Obama effect would somehow lead to a peaceful world. Take the Iranian elections, for example. By the time the Prize was awarded there was no “Obama Effect”. Obama was instead awarded the Prize because he was going to let the majority of the world dictate U. S. policy. Keep in mind these are these are some of the same world leaders backing the “Treaty of Lisbon” even though majorities kept voting it down when it was the “EU constituti0n”.

As to N. Hall, Tort Reform is a restriction of Government Power since the judiciary is a branch of the goverment. I don’t see what the judge being “experienced” has to do with anything. There’s certainly no guarantee of it. As to bleeding every nickel out of us, have you seen the taxes in the new health care bill, a VAT (valued-adde tax) will fall on all consumers, because it will add additional taxes at every phase of production.

10 norris hall 11.29.09 at 4:15 pm

Cutting 5 billion dollars a year out of the health care bill through tort reform will not in itself make much of a dent in the 2 trillion dollar a year health care mess we are in.
But 5 billion is 5 billion and even though it only represents 0,5% of our yearly health care bill…..every penny helps.

In order to make a real dent we need not only get the government involved in limiting Lawyer fees and jury awards but we also need to get the government involved in….
1. limiting doctors fees (just like the insurance companies do)
2. limiting insurance company profits. (20% administrative costs are way out of line with other developed nations)
3. limiting what drug companies can charge for their product (If you can buy Foxamax D in Canada for $50, it shouldn’t cost $70 in the US)
4. Limiting what hospitals can charge (They shouldn’t be allowed to charge $20 for bandaids)

What we need is the same government intervention in all other areas of healthcare. What’s good for the lawyers should also be applied to doctors, insurance companies, drug companies and hospitals.

Other countries have done it successfully. We should too.

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