Of course, tort reform is not the answer – as it doesn’t save money, cover the uninsured, or improve healthcare. But by preventing medical errors, the result is less litigation, lower costs and safer patients.
In the past few weeks, some pundits or talking heads have demanded to know, “What have the trial lawyers sacrificed to get health care passed?” But this isn’t about trial lawyers. It’s about patients, hurt through no fault of their own, left with debilitating injuries or worse. This bill is about health care, not bargaining away people’s legal rights.
But taking away people’s legal rights is the entirely wrong way to do it. That’s saying it is acceptable for 98,000 people to die every year, with thousands more injured, because of preventable medical errors. And that’s also saying it is OK to dictate what their lives are worth or whether they should have any recourse at all. Such a proposition is ridiculous.
The entire op-ed is certainly worth a read. Additionally, AAJ has prepared a wealth of materials related to medical negligence and the health care debate, which can be found here.