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Medical Malpractice Reform Not The Answer To Rising Healthcare Costs

Representative Michael Burgess, the Republican chairman of the Congressional Healthcare Caucus admitted to The Hill this week that attempting to limit medical malpractice awards for victims will not save the nation much on healthcare costs. This is an important concession from an advocate that has previously called for new laws which would infringe of the rights of patients who suffer at the hands of medical mistakes.

Rep. Burgess explained that, “I have never suggested that medical liability reform is a silver bullet.”

The comments were spurred by a new study which documented costs associated with handling the malpractice that doctors commit. The researchers behind the study were clear in explaining that attempting to lower the costs to doctors from malpractice liability would do little to solve the country’s overall healthcare expense problem.

The author of the study explained the reality of the situation, “Physician and insurer groups like to collapse all conversations about cost growth in health care to malpractice reform…the amount of defensive medicine is not trivial, but it’s unlikely to be a source of significant savings.”

The truth of this position is bore out in real world examples. Texas imposed caps on medical malpractice awards several years ago. Today health care costs in the state remain very high.

Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti stand by our commitment to ensuring that patient rights are protected. Medical mistakes often permanently injure and destroy the lives of innocent patients-those victims deserve the same legal protections afforded to all those who suffer because of negligent conduct. Our attorneys believe in the basic fairness of allowing our legal system to work as it should, with judges and juries hearing these disputes and deciding the appropriate course of action. A legislative decision that handcuff the legal system’s ability to handle these cases does nothing but take away rights of suffering victims.