House Republicans have passed malpractice entitlements—caps on damages that allow the one group of people to be “untouchable” and unaccountable for their actions beyond a base amount. That amount—which includes pain, suffering, emotional trauma, and punitive damages meant to punish particularly egregious behavior—is $250,000.
Sound like a lot of money? What is your leg worth? Your eyesight? Your life? Would you let someone cut off both your legs for $250,000?
Of course not.
The question that should bother you is, “if this is only allowing people who hurt other people and are legally responsible for that harm to avoid responsibility, why would 223 Republicans in Congress vote for it? Why is the ‘bad doctor’ lobby so strong in a party that claims to be the party of responsibility?” Great question.
As Deep Throat supposedly said to Bob Woodward while Bob was researching the Watergate story (soon to be scandal), “Follow the Money.”
The real winners from tort reform—which gives doctors an entitlement to commit malpractice—is the insurance lobby. The insurance lobby that reaps hefty profits, and whose main tactic isn’t to reduce medical mistakes (which works!), but to tell the injured people “tough luck.”
Oh, so where’s that money? Going to your Republican leadership’s pockets (and a few Democrats as well!).
P.S., for anyone who thinks tort reform is about protecting doctors from frivolous lawsuits, you’ve been misled (remember, damages caps don’t even apply until a jury of YOU—the public—passes judgment against a doctor). Denying your fellow Americans their constitutional right to the civil justice system won’t reduce healthcare costs, either.
Prior articles on malpractice entitlements: