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The Health Care Reform “Two-Step”

Posted by TopOfTheThread on October 7, 2009

We all know Health Care Reform is a major issue in the United States. The Obama Administration is making it a top priority.

Why can’t we simply try this?

  1. Tort reform – If we get rid of the frivolous lawsuits, everyone wins. Insurers.  Doctors. Consumers.
  2. Let health insurers cross states – this will immediately create competition without the government expanding and, in reality, creating unfair competition.  How will a private insurer compete with the government?  … And  the competition will drive rates down!

Easy. Let’s try it.  And it can probably be easily implemented within a reasonable amount of time.

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5 Responses to “The Health Care Reform “Two-Step””

  1. Mark Baird said

    Following is a GAO report on medical malpractice and could not find any evidence to substantiate the claims of lawsuits impacting health care costs, access to health care or defensive medicine (with one possible lose connection relating to OBGYN). But of course you will not see this report on any media outlet swinging left or right.

    http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03836.pdf

    Remember the CBO report regarding the cost of a single payer system that we all grasped to support our arguments against a single payer system…

    Well, there is the CBO report which had this to say about tort reform:

    “But even large savings in premiums can have only a small direct impact on health care spending–private or governmental–because malpractice costs account for less than 2 percent of that spending.”

    http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=4968&type=0#t3

    And of course there is Tillinghast-Towers Perrin (one of the largest in the world that provides risk management for the insurance and reinsurance industry).

    According to the actuarial consulting firm Towers Perrin, medical malpractice tort costs were $30.4 billion in 2007, the last year for which data are available. We have a more than a $2 trillion health care system. That puts litigation costs and malpractice insurance at 1 to 1.5 percent of total medical costs. That’s a rounding error. Liability isn’t even the tail on the cost dog. It’s the hair on the end of the tail.

    Of that 1 to 1.5 percent what portion of that is “frivolous”?

    http://www.towersperrin.com/tp/getwebcachedoc?webc=USA/2008/200811/2008_tort_costs_trends.pdf (Page 10)

    And then of course the report from Towers Perrin that states that the total tort cost in the US is 2% of the GDP. What percentage of that is “frivolous” and of that percentage what percentage is “frivolous” corporate lawsuits. So how much are “frivolous” lawsuits driving up the cost of everything? Maybe less than 2 cents on the dollar or maybe even less the 1 cent on the dollar?
    http://www.towersperrin.com/tp/getwebcachedoc?webc=USA/2008/200811/2008_tort_costs_trends.pdf

  2. Mark Baird said

    85 percent of Americans say we need some form of tort reform. If that is the case then why do these people award such “large” amounts. Something smells. Could it be a campaign by the Chamber of Commerce? Could it be the med mal premiums are the result of insurance company investments?

    The people that sit on juries and the judges all must be idiots.

    Judges have more knowledge of the civil jury system than anyone.
    In a recent survey:

    * Ninety-one percent believe the system is in good condition
    needing, at best, only minor work.
    * Only 1 percent of the judges who responded gave the jury
    system low marks.
    * Judges have great faith in juries to solve complicated
    issues.
    * Ninety-six percent said they agree with jury verdicts most
    or all of the time.
    * Nine of 10 judges said jurors show considerable understanding
    of legal issues involved in the cases they hear.

    • Mark –

      Thanks for the comment. Let’s agree to disagree.

      Speak to real doctors.

      I was recently called to jury duty on a med mal case in which the person had not experienced any damages. They were probably called by some ambulance chaser who convinced them to “go for the gold”.

      I also know a local doctor who saved someone’s life in the emergency room. They did not earn a penny from the work because the person did not have insurance. They recommended seeing a doctor every 3 months to make sure the issue did not again arise.

      The woman did not follow their instructions, and 2 years later, the woman is suing them for med mal.

      Thank you for the comment but let’s agree to disagree on this one…

    • Mark Baird –

      Thanks for the additional comments. You certainly have a lot to say.

      Quoting your reply… “85 percent of Americans say we need some form of tort reform…” and then you feel this opinion has a Chamber Of Commerce conspiracy theory behind it. So, you imply, this dominant majority doesn’t know what they are talking about. And then you say juries (of the same sample of people) DO get the awards right. Either the people are right or not.

      Mark, thanks for the comments but I think you need to start your own blog.

  3. […] The Health Care Reform “Two-Step” […]

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