Obama Clarifies Position of Medical Malpractice on “60 Minutes”

In his speech before Congress last week, President Obama attempted to win Republican support for his health care overhaul by agreeing to consider including medical malpractice reform in his plan. However, In his 60 minutes interview the president clarified what he meant by tort reform. The President stated that he is not willing to consider capping malpractice judgments. The President stated that he does not believe that medical malpractice reform is the “silver bullet” but that he believes that defensive medicine may contribute to unnecessary costs. He stated that he is moving forward to evaluate the different kinds of malpractice reform through state-based demonstration projects. Although he has discussed some of the types of medical malpractice reform that might be the subject of state-based demonstration projects he has discounted the idea of capping medical malpractice damages. The President does not believe that such caps will reduce health care costs and improve the quality of patient care. One of the options is to have medical experts review medical malpractice suits before they go to court to ensure they meet some threshold of credibility. Also, some form of mediated arbitration in place of lawsuits is an idea. Studies have shown that medical malpractice caps will do little to reduce health care costs. In fact, the only thing that medical malpractice caps have been proven to do is harm those who have been impacted by medical error. If you would like to learn more about how tort reform would impact medical malpractice, please consult an Illinois medical malpractice lawyer. To read more about the President’s statements, please click the link.

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