Skip to comments.No Health Care Reform Without Legal Reform (Sarah Palin)
Posted on 08/21/2009 7:14:29 AM PDT by DogBarkTree
President Obama's health care "reform" plan has met with significant criticism across the country. Many Americans want change and reform in our current health care system. We recognize that while we have the greatest medical care in the world, there are major problems that we must face, especially in terms of reining in costs and allowing care to be affordable for all. However, as we have seen, current plans being pushed by the Democratic leadership represent change that may not be what we had in mind -- change which poses serious ethical concerns over the government having control over our families health care decisions. In addition, the current plans greatly increase costs of health care, while doing lip service toward controlling costs.
We need to address a REAL bipartisan reform proposition that will have REAL impacts on costs, and quality of patient care.
As Governor of Alaska, I learned a little bit about being a target for frivolous suits and complaints (Please, do I really need to footnote that?). I went my whole life without needing a lawyer on speed-dial, but all that changes when you become a target for opportunists and people with no scruples. Our nations health care providers have been the targets of similar opportunists for years, and they too have found themselves subjected to false, frivolous, and baseless claims. To quote a former president, I feel your pain.
So what can we do? First, we cannot have health care reform without tort reform. The two are intertwined. For example, one supposed justification for socialized medicine is the high cost of health care. As Dr. Scott Gottlieb recently noted, If Mr. Obama is serious about lowering costs, he'll need to reform the economic structures in medicineespecially programs like Medicare.  Two examples of these economic structures are high malpractice insurance premiums foisted on physicians (and ultimately passed on to consumers as high health care costs) and the billions wasted on defensive medicine.
Dr. Stuart Weinstein, with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, recently explained the problem:
The medical liability crisis has had many unintended consequences, most notably a decrease in access to care in a growing number of states and an increase in healthcare costs. Access is affected as physicians move their practices to states with lower liability rates and change their practice patterns to reduce or eliminate high-risk services. When one considers that half of all neurosurgeonsas well as one third of all orthopedic surgeons, one third of all emergency physicians, and one third of all trauma surgeonsare sued each year, is it any wonder that 70 percent of emergency departments are at risk because they lack available on-call specialist coverage? 
Dr. Weinstein makes good points, points completely ignored by President Obama. Dr. Weinstein details the costs that our out-of-control tort system are causing the health care industry and notes research that found that liability reforms could reduce defensive medicine practices, leading to a 5 percent to 9 percent reduction in medical expenditures without any effect on mortality or medical complications. Dr. Weinstein writes:
If the Kessler and McClellan estimates were applied to total U.S. healthcare spending in 2005, the defensive medicine costs would total between $100 billion and $178 billion per year. Add to this the cost of defending malpractice cases, paying compensation, and covering additional administrative costs (a total of $29.4 billion). Thus, the average American family pays an additional $1,700 to $2,000 per year in healthcare costs simply to cover the costs of defensive medicine. Excessive litigation and waste in the nations current tort system imposes an estimated yearly tort tax of $9,827 for a family of four and increases healthcare spending in the United States by $124 billion. How does this translate to individuals? The average obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) delivers 100 babies per year. If that OB-GYN must pay a medical liability premium of $200,000 each year (which is the rate in Florida), $2,000 of the delivery cost for each baby goes to pay the cost of the medical liability premium. 
You would think that any effort to reform our health care system would include tort reform, especially if the stated purpose for Obamas plan to nationalize our health care industry is the current high costs.
So I have new questions for the president: Why no legal reform? Why continue to encourage defensive medicine that wastes billions of dollars and does nothing for the patients? Do you want healthcare reform to benefit trial attorneys or patients?
Many states, including my own state of Alaska, have enacted caps on lawsuit awards against health care providers. Texas enacted caps and found that one countys medical malpractice claims dropped 41 percent, and another study found a 55 percent decline after reform measures were passed.  Thats one step in health care reform. Limiting lawyer contingency fees, as is done under the Federal Tort Claims Act, is another step. The State of Alaska pioneered the loser pays rule in the United States, which deters frivolous civil law suits by making the loser partially pay the winners legal bills. Preventing quack doctors from giving expert testimony in court against real doctors is another reform. Texas Gov. Rick Perry noted that, after his state enacted tort reform measures, the number of doctors applying to practice medicine in Texas skyrocketed by 57 percent and that the tort reforms brought critical specialties to underserved areas. These are real reforms that actually improve access to health care. 
Dr. Weinsteins research shows that around $200 billion per year could be saved with legal reform. Thats real savings. Thats money that could be used to build roads, schools, or hospitals. If you want to save health care, lets listen to our doctors too. There should be no health care reform without legal reform. There can be no true health care reform without legal reform.
- Sarah Palin
A situation is about to be created where doctors will be liable for not doing things which are forbidden.
In Canada, at least when the government cancels your MRI, you can’t sue the doctor for not doing it.
Under HR3200, that’s exactly what will happen.
John Edwards is back in busin
Tort Reform? Taking away $billions from the trial lawyers associations that fund the Democratic Party?
Sarah, you are absolutely correct, but the Democratic lawyers in Washington (Obama, Clinton and Kennedy clan members, et al.) will fall on their collectivist swords before considering Tort Reform.
Actually I think that is "bidnib"
But if you can’t have tons of frivolous lawsuits, how are all the lawyers going to pay for the “one call that’s all” commercials that are on during the TV Judge shows and the Maury Pervich and Jerry Springer shows.
Hilarious isn’t it that all the ads on during those shows are lawyers, fast food, and pawn your car title ads. The ads you see should tell you something about yourself.
Sarah sure can land a body blow! This is going to be as big as the “death panels” meme. She’s got some mighty rhetorical fists!
Do you want healthcare reform to benefit trial attorneys or patients?
Obama is gonna get all wee-weed up today...LOL.
As Tammy Bruce would say, “TYPE, TYPE, SEND” !
GO SARAH !
Health care is no different than any other business, when you have a shortage of doctors and a massive influx of illegal aliens then you have the makings for high prices. Supply and demand are at work. Though there are other problems, repulsively high malpractice insurance, greedy pharmaceutical companies and pricey medical equipment, the problem still largely lies in supply and demand. This is the problem with illegal immigration, they don’t bring any professional abilities with them, they come in the tens of millions to leech off the present professions and government programs, giving nothing back to society.
We are already a bankrupt nation, yet we still allow the madness of unchecked illegal immigration. When are the a-holes in DC going to recognize this problem and put a final end to it?
Let us do a comparison on who is leading our side in the ObamaCare battle:
Palin- stopped “death panels/rationing,” focusing on issues like importance of “tort reform,” and an end to defensive medicine practices.
Romney- tells Obama to “slow down” and to have “bipartisan leadership”
You bots stay on that cruise to ambivalence aboard the SS Romney 2012
Spare me. Just because I don't worship at the alter of Palin, doesn't mean I'm a Romney supporter - in any way, shape or form. If you can find any post I've made that has been supportive of Mitt - in any way - please quote it.
Otherwise, keep your insults to yourself.
Another lightning bolt from Wasilla strikes its target in DC.
It’s all well and good to address the “surface” arguments,
and perhaps in so doing, she can expose that their surface
arguments have little to do with their true goals.
But we who are “out here in the weeds” need to directly confront
the TRUE GOALS of this policy -
total control of the populace through the ability to grant and deny healthcare.
But it's not a problem to them - it's the solution to the problem, which is us.
The people are too stubborn, too conservative, and cling too much to their guns and their religion.
So? Change the people.
When will they put a final end to it? Never.
What ... a call for tort reform is now a "lightning bolt?"
Get real. Folks have been suggesting that for at least the past 20 years. The problem has never been in the suggesting, it's been in the actual doing. Tort reform attempts on the national level have not been notably successful or comprehensive for the usual reasons: party politics and special interests.
It's worth pointing out, however, that the Congressional Republicans did take a stab at it in 2005, and it's been part of the party platform for some time.
It's very nice that Sarah Palin is on-board the tort reform train -- but she didn't invent the idea.
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