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1 aagcobb  Sep 22, 2014 5:40:07am

But it is an effective method to transfer more wealth from ordinary Americans in need to corporate America, always a worthy goal from the GOP’s pov.

2 1Peter G1  Sep 22, 2014 6:26:01am

re: #1 aagcobb

There’s a reason no country with a good universal health care system uses the court system to try and regulate improper behavior in health care. If you have a bad doctor you get rid of that doctor. You don’t award ten of millions of dollars in compensation beyond what is needed for the support of the aggrieved patient because that only takes money away from the taxpayer and other patients who need those resources. Especially when a huge portion only goes to support the lawyers. Punitive damages only add to health care costs without really fixing anything. Saying tort reform doesn’t solve the problem with health care costs in the US, which is true, is not the same as saying it isn’t a contributing factor, which it is.

3 iossarian  Sep 22, 2014 6:33:51am

re: #2 1Peter G1

There’s a reason no country with a good universal health care system uses the court system to try and regulate improper behavior in health care.

Not sure what this means - you can take healthcare bodies to court in other countries too if they screw up.

The point of the article is that the costs associated with legal proceedings of this type are small in the US (2-3% of total) compared with the overhead of the insurance system, which is generally reckoned to be somewhere between 20 and 30% of the total.

4 aagcobb  Sep 22, 2014 8:44:56am

re: #2 1Peter G1

There’s a reason no country with a good universal health care system uses the court system to try and regulate improper behavior in health care. If you have a bad doctor you get rid of that doctor. You don’t award ten of millions of dollars in compensation beyond what is needed for the support of the aggrieved patient because that only takes money away from the taxpayer and other patients who need those resources. Especially when a huge portion only goes to support the lawyers. Punitive damages only add to health care costs without really fixing anything. Saying tort reform doesn’t solve the problem with health care costs in the US, which is true, is not the same as saying it isn’t a contributing factor, which it is.

Until we have a good system to weed out bad doctors, the tort system is what we’ve got. Don’t count on tort reform advocates to create an effective system to weed out bad doctors.

5 1Peter G1  Sep 22, 2014 8:57:40am

re: #3 iossarian

You sure can. But what they don’t do is award ludicrous punitive damages which are such an amazing feature of just about only the American judicial system. Who do you think pays those damages? It isn’t the people who caused them is it? Ultimately it is the taxpayer and, of course, the people who need health care. You want a classic example of stupidity here’s one. Just a short time ago a child was badly beaten and permanently injured. The jury award against the State of New Jersey was 166 million. nj.com

This was predicated on the fact that their social services department had not checked all fifty states to see if the father had a record outside of New Jersey. Which, of course they had checked. He didn’t. Should this child be looked after? Of course. Now about those punitive damages. Who pays those? Do you think maybe there are other children who will suffer because this department will now lack the resources to do the job? But insurers pay you say? No. You pay insurers for coverage which goes up a lot when claims like this are made. You want to punish someone for negligence? Fire their asses. Shooting yourself in the foot is simply insane.

6 Lumberhead  Sep 22, 2014 10:16:46am

re: #5 1Peter G1

You sure can. But what they don’t do is award ludicrous punitive damages which are such an amazing feature of just about only the American judicial system. Who do you think pays those damages? It isn’t the people who caused them is it? Ultimately it is the taxpayer and, of course, the people who need health care. You want a classic example of stupidity here’s one. Just a short time ago a child was badly beaten and permanently injured. The jury award against the State of New Jersey was 166 million. nj.com

This was predicated on the fact that their social services department had not checked all fifty states to see if the father had a record outside of New Jersey. Which, of course they had checked. He didn’t. Should this child be looked after? Of course. Now about those punitive damages. Who pays those? Do you think maybe there are other children who will suffer because this department will now lack the resources to do the job? But insurers pay you say? No. You pay insurers for coverage which goes up a lot when claims like this are made. You want to punish someone for negligence? Fire their asses. Shooting yourself in the foot is simply insane.

I honestly don’t see how this example is relevant to a discussion about the relationship between tort reform and healthcare costs. You keep mentioning taxpayers but what do lawsuits against private doctors have to do with taxpayers?


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