A smooch for the trial lawyers
© 2009 Roy Benaroch, MD
In case you were wondering what’s included in the 1900 page behemoth that is the current health care reform bill, here’s one provision:
Section 2531, entitled “Medical Liability Alternatives,” establishes an incentive program for states to adopt and implement alternatives to medical liability litigation. [But]…… a state is not eligible for the incentive payments if that state puts a law on the books that limits attorneys’ fees or imposes caps on damages.
So: we’re going to encourage states to reform the medical liability mess—but not if in any way it might affect the incomes of the trial lawyers. More details here.
For those of you who may have naively thought that comprehensive health care reform would address the huge cost of defensive medicine and malpractice litigation, the intentions of Nancy Pelosi’s House Bill couldn’t be more clear. The bill discourages any meaningful reform. As for what’s in the other 1898 pages, a PDF version has been posted online—but honestly, there’s so much legal gobbledygook, I doubt anyone could possibly understand it, and I doubt anyone has read the whole thing. As I feared, it’s getting ugly. Put on your galoshes, America: you’re about to get hosed.