Poll: Majority Of Americans Support Medical Malpractice ReformThe Associated Press further analyzed its poll from earlier this week, with an eye on medical malpractice limits: "54 percent favor making it harder to sue doctors and hospitals for mistakes taking care of patients, while 32 percent are opposed. The rest are undecided or don't know. But congressional Democrats are reluctant to press forward on the issue. They don't want to upset a valuable political constituency - trial lawyers - even if President Barack Obama says he believes that fear of being sued leads doctors to practice defensive medicine, driving up costs for everyone."
Opinions "cut across political lines, with 58 percent of independents and 61 percent of Republicans in favor [of limiting malpractice suits]. Democrats are more divided. Still, 47 percent said they favor making it harder to sue, while 37 percent are opposed. ... Limits on jury awards in malpractice cases could reduce the federal deficit by $54 billion over 10 years, says the Congressional Budget Office, because doctors caring for Medicare and Medicaid patients would order up fewer tests to guard against being sued" (Alonso-Zaldivar and Tompson, 11/19). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.