Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: "Wrong medicine: caps:"

According to a 2004 study by the Congressional Budget Office, malpractice costs account for less than 2 percent of total health care spending. The same study estimates that even a reduction of 25 percent to 30 percent in malpractice costs -- the president's plan certainly doesn't claim to save that much -- would lower health care costs by less than half of 1 percent.

The answers to lowering the fiscal effects of medical malpractice lie not with arbitrarily limiting compensation to injured patients but with bolstering identification and discipline of dangerous doctors and better regulation of the medical malpractice insurance industry.

So why, oh why, does our president want to limit people's access to the courts? Could there be another reason, such as giving yet another break to Big Insurance and Big Business? Nah.

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