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David Mittleman
David Mittleman
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Once Again, Facts Prove Tort Reform Doesn't Save Money

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The rising cost of health care in the United States has people everywhere searching for a solution. For years, “tort reform” has been touted as a way to cut costs: capping damages and reducing the number of medical malpractice claims, supporters argue, will reduce insurance premiums and ultimately save everyone money. Time and time again, however, this myth collapses under the weight of overwhelming factual evidence to the contrary.

So why is the cost of health care outpacing gains in per capita income? The answer has to do with the efficiency and effectiveness of services being offered. These costs can be reduced in a number of ways. Some states, including Michigan, have tried tort reform as a way of reining in expenditures. But as we have seen, limiting medical malpractice claims has a negligible effect on the overall cost of the health care system. In fact, as I wrote yesterday, correcting preventable medical errors committed by health care professionals represents a much higher proportion of costs.

Study after study proves that tort reform advocates are simply wrong. Health care costs can be contained by increasing the efficiency of the system and reducing the number of preventable errors. Limiting access to justice for innocent patients who are victims of careless mistakes is NOT the answer.

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  1. jc says:
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    Physicians disagree with you. A Gallup-Jackson poll
    found that docs say 26% of the cost of medical care is attributed to defensive medicine. You could cut that number in half and easily save 10%. I say we seriously look at replacing the current adversarial legal system and go to medical courts.