Obama Promises Tort Reform

By
Wednesday, September 09, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Among the many facets of the broad health care reform plan that President Obama offered tonight during a speech before a joint session of Congress was a small but shiny bone for Republicans: tort reform.

“I don’t believe malpractice reform is a silver bullet, but I’ve talked to enough doctors to know that defensive medicine may be contributing to unnecessary costs,” said Obama. “So I am proposing that we move forward on a range of ideas about how to put patient safety first and let doctors focus on practicing medicine. I know that the Bush Administration considered authorizing demonstration projects in individual states to test these issues. It’s a good idea, and I am directing my Secretary of Health and Human Services to move forward on this initiative today.”

In response, Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) — a medical doctor, as he mentioned repeatedly in his speech on behalf of the Republicans — said: “We’re grateful the president mentioned medical liability reform and we hope he’s serious,” adding: “we need to establish tough liability reform standards” and discourage “junk lawsuits.”

It turns out, according to MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, that Boustany himself has been sued for medical malpractice at least three times. No wonder he’s so gung-ho about tort reform.

Comments

30 Comments

maybe it’s just a bad business – so many trons
Pingback posted September 10, 2009 @ 9:11 am

[...] want tort reform? Awesome, let’s do freaking tort reform. Let’s do it all. Let’s fix something that’s obviously broken, stop waving Hitler [...]


DawnCA
Comment posted September 10, 2009 @ 12:26 pm

Are these people sleeping together?


DBR
Comment posted September 10, 2009 @ 1:35 pm

Of COURSE Dr. Boustany has been sued for malpractice – he's a SURGEON. ALL surgeons are sued for malpractice – in fact, on average, American doctors WILL BE SUED, no matter how good they are, at least two or three times in their careers. I'll bet Olberman didn't mention how those cases turned out, though, especially since 80% of the malpractice cases filed in America end up with NO PAYMENT to the plaintiff – either because the cases are dropped for lack of sustainable evidence, decided for teh defendant by a jury, or thrown out by a judge. I'll bet Olberman also didn't mention that it costs doctors and their medical liability insurers upwards of $25,000 to defend against every claim, no matter how frivolous, and if the case goes to court, it costs upwards of $100,000. And we won't even MENTION how many not really necessary tests the doctor who's been sued will order for the rest of his or her life, just to make sure they're not sitting in a witness chair someday when some overeager personal injury lawyer says, “And, WHY, doctor, did you not order an MRI?”


letsbreasonable
Comment posted September 10, 2009 @ 2:12 pm

What in holy hell is a “demonstration project”?

And, for that matter, what the hell is “defensive medicine”? I really don't have any problem with doctors being too careful. I'm sorry if that means doctors actually have to do their jobs…


letsbreasonable
Comment posted September 10, 2009 @ 2:26 pm

What you seem to overlook is that it costs the lawyer for the patient just as much money as the insurance company. These lawyers always work on contingency so if that lawyer doesn't win (or gets a small award) he loses money. The “frivilous” medical malpractice lawsuit is more often than not either (1) an insurance company myth or (2) if you're a doctor (e.g. Boustany), it's the lawsuit against you…


JEngdahlJ
Comment posted September 10, 2009 @ 5:30 pm

The current medmal system is woefully inefficient, with only 39 cents on the dollar going to claimants. Find out more at http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/?p=1599


Photomaniacal » Blog Archive » The Republicans’ legal landmine | Dylan Loewe
Pingback posted September 10, 2009 @ 7:31 pm

[...] But only once, only one time in the entire night, did the president say something that made the entire Republican caucus stand and cheer with applause. That was toward the end of the speech when, for the first time since the health care debate began, President Obama endorsed the idea of tort reform. [...]


The Republicans’ legal landmine | Dylan Loewe - Politic News, Videos
Pingback posted September 11, 2009 @ 12:21 am

[...] But only once, only one time in the entire night, did the president say something that made the entire Republican caucus stand and cheer with applause. That was toward the end of the speech when, for the first time since the health care debate began, President Obama endorsed the idea of tort reform. [...]


The Republicans’ legal landmine | Dylan Loewe - Politic News, Videos
Pingback posted September 11, 2009 @ 12:21 am

[...] But only once, only one time in the entire night, did the president say something that made the entire Republican caucus stand and cheer with applause. That was toward the end of the speech when, for the first time since the health care debate began, President Obama endorsed the idea of tort reform. [...]


kesslerlawyer
Comment posted September 11, 2009 @ 1:50 am

As a Medical Malpractice lawyer, I can tell you that none of the lawsuits that I put in place are “junk lawsuits”. It is too expensive and too tough to push lawsuits through the system to submit a junk lawsuit. Besides, if a lawsuit is really non meritorious there is a mechanism called summary judgment which will dismiss the suit. Moreover, most jurors are conditioned to trust the doctor so on average 85% of all malpractice suits are defense verdicts.

If a doctor trully deviates from the standard of care and destroys the life of the plaintiff and his family than, the doctor's insurance company should pay.

Its' funny I am representing a wife of a doctor who was injured in a malpractice action. Her husband, a surgeon who for many years was against malpractice lawsuits has been very supportive. So doctors, be careful what you wish for. Perhaps you or your family members pain in suffering will be capped by some shortsighted Republican.


The Washington Independent » Obama Promises Tort Reform
Pingback posted September 12, 2009 @ 12:54 am

[...] The Washington Independent » Obama Promises Tort Reform [...]


Weekly Web Watch 09/07/09 – 09/13/09 « EXECUTIVE WATCH
Pingback posted September 15, 2009 @ 1:50 am

[...] only to demand that everyone treat the president like a monarch.  Relatedly, Obama is offering to put tort reform into the health-care bill, though he would use a former trial lawyer lobbyist to do [...]


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Pingback posted January 25, 2010 @ 5:35 pm

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Gabe
Comment posted January 29, 2010 @ 5:00 pm

Ok you are just a complete idiot. That's fine, I'll order a CT and make my money. I don't really give a shit.

But when you (directly or indirectly) have to foot the bill for the CT scan I order, that's when it should matter to you. Defensive medicine is what doctor's do when they order a few extra tests to cover their asses, even when they are absolutely certain of the diagnosis. Why? Because it doesn't hurt us any to order the extra tests, just the patient. We do it because we don't want to be sued. It has nothing to do with “actually having to do our jobs”.


kbvt1234
Comment posted February 8, 2010 @ 3:24 pm

Tort Reform is the least of our worries! How about Americans like me who are out of a job and thus we have no healthcare! I'm tired of Politicians and Republicans in particular ranting and raving about things that don't mean S–t ! Stop whining and starting getting us some results. For all the Rush Limbaugh's, Sean Hannity's, Glenn (doesn't know his history) Beck's and Sarah (dumb, hypocrite) Palin, shutup or putup!


kbvt1234
Comment posted February 8, 2010 @ 8:24 pm

Tort Reform is the least of our worries! How about Americans like me who are out of a job and thus we have no healthcare! I'm tired of Politicians and Republicans in particular ranting and raving about things that don't mean S–t ! Stop whining and starting getting us some results. For all the Rush Limbaugh's, Sean Hannity's, Glenn (doesn't know his history) Beck's and Sarah (dumb, hypocrite) Palin, shutup or putup!


fender
Comment posted January 28, 2011 @ 9:29 pm

Ok but the the fact remains the many of the law suits doctors & hospital so call ” win” does not take away from the cost of defending these suits. So they win but still have to pay for the defence, not right. What is proposed, as with all other Europen countries, is that the losser pays for the defence costs..this way the junk laws suits that u may not do are not even considered by other lawyers. This would further reduce law suits by bring only those with the highest merit to court and discourge the “dart board” approach many try. Lawyer who win not only take up to 1/3 of the payout but also subtract costs from the winnings further reducing the award to the client who is in need. there has got to be a more effeict way of fairly compensating people that what exists today, espically with the cry for lower health care costs.


Kesslerlawyer
Comment posted January 28, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

You have no idea how hard it is to prosecute medical malpractice cases. Many states have health care panels, have binding arbitration and other mechanisms to discourage law suits. As far as the percentage that an attorney gets it is not 1/3 it is usually on a sliding scale and can be as low as 15% of the total recovery depending on the state and the amount recovered. The costs of prosecuting medical malpractice cases are so high that most attorneys do not handle them. Frequently, an attorney has to spend $20K-$30K of his/her own money to prosecute the cases. Therefore, any compensation that an attorney gets is justified. Don’t believe the hype that the insurance companies tell you. Medical Malpractice does not raise premiums substantially. In fact, in states such as Texas and California who have the most restrictive med mal laws in the country, the premiums are as high as states like NY or NJ with more liberal laws. Med mal cases prevent bad doctors from doing horrible things to patients. No other mechanism has caused hospitals and doctors to change their habits. Therefore, if you want to keep quality health care in the USA, do not make it harder for patients to sue doctors.


Tort reform compromise? | Messina Bulzomi Christensen
Pingback posted March 1, 2011 @ 12:34 pm

[...] The Washington Independent Share: Blog this! Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook Share on Linkedin Tweet about it Subscribe to the comments on this post Print for later Bookmark in Browser Tell a friend This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink. [...]


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