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SR07's Comments

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Healthcare Reform and Defensive Medicine

Commented Aug 1, 2009 at 11:27:56 in Politics

“First, $250,000 is just a number. A $250,000 cap may not be sufficient but we should consider some sort of cap to lower healthcare costs. Also, this cap only limits damages awarded for pain and suffering and not money for medical care costs, disability, additional assistance, etc.
Gross negligence does need to be remedied, but we should prevent negligence not apply fees after the fact. Increasing the damages a doctor must pay won't make the patient better. Instead we should push for better training, assessment, and supervision for doctors to prevent negligence.
Also, though a few hundred people benefit from malpractice lawsuits, 300 million people benefit from reductions in insurance premiums, government healthcare expenditure, and medical bills. Nearly 45 million Americans don't have health insurance, and even the government lacks the financial means to help them. Doctors would benefit from a reduction in malpractice damages, but so would the countless people who visit them.
And while there are some gross negligence cases, there are more frivolous cases. Over 40% of medical malpractice lawsuits are dropped with no remuneration to the plaintiff after months or years of legal fees. These cases are often instigated by lawyers hoping to obtain a settlement. This inappropriate litigious behavior increases the cost of healthcare. If these cases are stopped, billions of dollars could be saved. We can prevent this through caps on the percentage a lawyer can make per case or order the plaintiff to pay the defendant's legal fees should they lose the case.”