Some confusion has recently been created about President Obama’s position on issues related to “tort reform.” In an effort to create an unclear perspective about the President’s opinion about the rights of medical malpractice victims, there were some suggestions that he was open to caps on damages in medical liability cases. Fortunately, the New York Times reported last week on clarification from White House officials that confirmed that the President does not support these arbitrary caps. He is also opposed to egregious measures that would have terrible effects on the rights of Illinois medical malpractice victims, like the bill known as H.R. 5.
Specifically, the spokesman noted how the President “does not support caps on medical malpractice awards, since they can be unfair to people who’ve been wrongfully harmed.”
Of course those proposed caps would essentially immunize certain big interests from large damage amounts at the expense of those who have been harmed by their negligence. These sorts of changes would also lessen the incentive of medical companies and healthcare providers to ensure the best quality of care and take steps to improve the overall quality of care.
The best evidence available shows that as many as 100,000 patients are killed each year because of mistakes that should have been prevented. That figure does not count the many more patients who are not killed but face medical complications because of errors made by their providers. It remains inappropriate to even begin to have discussions about steps that would only work to disincentive changes that would lower those shocking stats.
Our Chicago personal injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti know that caps are not the answer to any problems within our medical system. The quality of care can be improved and billions of dollars in overall medical costs saved if fewer individuals suffer costly and damaging complications after receiving poor care.
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