Opponents Of Med-Mal Reform Settle On New ArgumentThe Hill: Tort Reform Opponents Knock 'Defensive Medicine' Argument
Trial lawyers and consumer advocates are trotting out a novel argument as they fight off tort reform proposals: they say medical malpractice suits, rather than driving over-use of costly tests by risk-averse doctors, instead prevent rationing. The political stars are aligning in favor of tort reform this Congress, with House Republicans vowing to pass a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages, and the White House setting aside $250 million in the 2012 budget for state experiments. One culprit, in lawyers' view, is the concept of "defensive medicine" that has been uniting Republicans who want to cut doctors' malpractice insurance bills and Democrats worried about wasteful medical spending that's bankrupting federal programs (Pecquet, 2/22). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.