Posts Tagged ‘medical malpractice’

By David Arkush

Arguing with the likes of the Manhattan Institute about medical malpractice litigation isn’t much fun anymore. We’ve proved them wrong time and again, and it looks like they’re running out of gas. The Manhattan Institute’s latest piece misrepresents our analysis and accuses us of an odd mistake: responding to arguments about medical malpractice litigation in the terms in which they are made.

A little history: For years, enemies of the courts – doctors, liability insurance companies, and groups like the Manhattan Institute – have argued that a torrent of frivolous lawsuits against doctors have been driving up the costs of medical care. As everyone knows, medical costs have skyrocketed, with yearly spending increasing from $1.2 trillion to $2.5 trillion in the last ten years alone. The dream of these court deformers was to pin with the problem on lawsuits. But the math just doesn’t work. We’ve shown year after year that medical liability, even generously defined, is a tiny fraction of overall health care costs. Currently it’s at historic lows – just 0.58 percent of health care costs – while those costs are still skyrocketing.

With the evidence overwhelmingly against them, many deformers have changed the subject. They talk about so-called “defensive medicine,” which has extremely little empirical support – meaning that they can (more…)

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A few weeks ago, we warned you that Congress might become distracted by lobbyists seeking to shield negligent doctors and hospitals from accountability. Today, at least 23 amendments to the health care bill would do just that, weakening our right to hold negligent providers accountable when they cause severe permanent injuries or death.

In fact, the woefully inadequate health care bill introduced by Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) already endorses money for experiments with substitutes for the civil justice system. (more…)

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