Originally Posted by chiefst2000
I don't accept your premises. The idea that Tort reform has been tested and shown ineffective is simply a lie. It's why Obama was boo'ed when he told a physicans convention that medical tort reform is not something he would pursue. These old "tired" talking points have never been tried. The reason you hear the ideas over and over is because they are common sense solutions. They absolutely would work to lower premiums.
One kernel of truth in your post (and i had to look hard to find it) regards the "watered down insurance" concept. In order to open competetion across state lines a basic minimum standard would need to be established.
I would suggest the following standards, No lifetime maximum, Customers can not be dropped once they get sick. Finally I would implement the NYS rule that anyone that has been continuously covered is elligible for any plan and can not get dropped. Other then that for the most part let each company detail the services they provide and the customer can decide.
As a physician I can tell you that the reason that anyone who states that he will not promote tort reform would be booed at a Physicians conference is not because physicians feel tort reform will cut down on the nations health care costs. Its because most physicians are sick and tired of paying these ludicrous malpractice insurance fees. When I was in private practice these fees were incredibly burdensome. Now that I work for the VA its one less thing to worry about.
Tort reform will not cut down on health care spending. This has been shown in Texas where medical malpractice payouts have been capped and suing hospitals is more difficult than in any other state. After this proposition was passed in 2002, between 2002-2009, health care costs did not drop and the number of medical tests slightly increased. Additionally between 2003-2010 health insurance premiums went up 46% and the average cost of a family plan went up 52%.
What happened in Texas is not specific to just one state. Same thing was seen in Ohio after they passed tort reform.
I would strongly encourage anyone who has a sincere interest in this matter to read the study put out by Dartmouth (ill look for link). I know right wing guys like chiefst2000 hate academia and stupid things like research and studies but its an excellent study that shows why tort reform is not an answer to the healthcare crisis we face.
The biggest problem with people who keep shouting tort reform as a solution is that they assume that fear of lawsuits is the main reason why doctors order unnecessary tests. This is incredibly naive, simplistic and wrong. The factors as to why MDs order all these tests is far more complicated.