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How much could we improve health care in the USA simply with tort reform?

Been the victim of Medical Malpractice or fighting a malpractice suit? Discuss it here.

How much could we improve health care in the USA simply with tort reform?

Postby larry » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:32 am

If we cut off the trial atty's lifeblood, medical malpractice, something Obama, Pelosi and Reid refuse to do, how much would we save in medical costs?
I know for a fact that malpractice insurance has risen exponentially over the past 25 years. How much money is spent on insurance protecting Dr's and hospitals from million dollar lawsuits? And the atty's make about 25% or more if it goes to trial. Per verdict.
If we have a bad Dr, you should get something and the Dr. should be removed. But now, we sue for millions and then go back to the same Dr. We don't dislike them, we just want the $$.
If we take out the lawsuit bonanzas and tighten up the Dr's board and lower the malpractice insurance could we save enough to insure more people without the gov't taking everything over? Afterall, name me one gov't program that isn't losing money......
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How much could we improve health care in the USA simply with tort reform?

Postby bachir93 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:35 am

Not at all. Absolving doctors of responsibility for screwing up is not going to improve healthcare. The fact that any American could believe that it would shows just how stupid we have become.

The insurance industry admits that malpractice insurance costs (including the cost of settling all the suits as well as paying judgments) represents about 1% of healthcare costs. That's pretty good bang for your buck!

There is lots of dishonesty getting spread around on this topic. Check your data. The doctors who get drummed out of business due to malpractice suits should never have been practicing to begin with!
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How much could we improve health care in the USA simply with tort reform?

Postby teyo » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:47 am

Health Care would remain the same....the best in the world but it would cost a whole lot less.

Why would a bunch of lawyers want to have Tort Reform? Remember Congress and the Senate are mostly lawyers.
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How much could we improve health care in the USA simply with tort reform?

Postby teyo » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:56 am

You are absolutely right. A lot of our doctor's bills are really just disguised bills for lawyers and insurers. Doctors also order tests of marginal value simply to avoid being second guessed. Doctors also avoid high-risk fields, precisely the places we most need medical expertise.

Lawyers don't see themselves as the problem. To a shark it's just dinner. To their victim its their life. I read about a case where a doctor was sued over problems stemming from a child birth. He described the lawsuit as the worst experience of his life, that it cost him money, time, and most of all his own well-being. In the end he prevailed and was exonerated. Then the lawyer who sues him shows up at his office because she is going to have a baby and needs a doctor. He refused. The lawyer could not grasp why the doctor was so wary of her.
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How much could we improve health care in the USA simply with tort reform?

Postby bachir93 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:59 am

Check out the states that have tort reform to find out.

The answer is nothing.

Tort reform has had no impact on insurance premiums. California implemented tort reform and also capped what trial lawyers could charge. Malpractice insurance premiums have never gone down in california.

No one sues for millions and goes back to the same doctor. That is your fantasy.

Here is how professional liability insurance works, it is the same for malpractice, auto and home. You pay premiums, the insurance company invests the money. The biggest source of profit for the insurance company does not come from premiums, it comes from the investment portfolio. Most insurance companies plan on paying out .95 cents for every dollar they get in premium. That is the industry standard.

If the stock market tanks, you may see insurance premiums rise. Not because of claims or payouts, but because of the drop in the investment portfolio.

I work for an insurance company. We took a big hit in our investment portfolio last year just like a lot of companies. We raised some of our premiums to cover it.

It has nothing to do with payouts on policies. The notion that it is easy to bring a malpractice suit is unreal. It is very hard and even for valid cases of extreme negligence, it is difficult and it can take years. There are actually very few cases that get heard, most are settled through arbitration anyway. Tort reform has not had any impact on it. It is being done in a lot of states already, and this is just one more right wing red herring.

I had a friend that used to claim that there were alot of silly lawsuits, then she was the one they screwed up on. She doesn't shoot her mouth off about tort reform. Truth is, she lost a kidney due to a doc screw up and she never got a dime.

It isn't quite so easy to make a buck from malpractice.
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How much could we improve health care in the USA simply with tort reform?

Postby jan46 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:02 am

We need tort reform as well, but that has nothing to do with the insurance industry- the real problem.
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How much could we improve health care in the USA simply with tort reform?

Postby dana » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:06 am

Wendall Gates an ex-ceo of a major insurance company believes the system needs reform
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How much could we improve health care in the USA simply with tort reform?

Postby wardell » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:11 am

Great question you Martian Person!

Answer: 90% improvement.

Let's do it simple.

Attorney fees cannot exceed 25%

Total damages cannot exceed 500% of out of pockets.

Just simple.

Do that, and 90% of health care/insurance problem is gone.

Is it a felony to do something simply?

Actually it's not.

You would think so if all you knew was Washinton DC.

Tort reform.

Let's get rid of "the banks".

Let's give doctors the benefit of the doubt by not ending their careers for every mistake they can't defend while in the jaws of a big city lawfirm.

Healers do what they can. There should however be much much stronger regulations about who is Board Certified. Much stronger.

Much.

The tradeoff is that the lawyers will get off the back of the medical profession AND the Medical profession will police itself very strictly so that ONLY the TRULY TALENTED ever put their hands on a patient in USA.

TALENT counts.

Why we have not been able to figure that out in the past 50 years -- please don't ask me to explain.
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