The Republican National Convention took place last week in Tampa, Florida. The event included a wide range of speakers discussing various topics, from economic plans to healthcare goals, with some discussion of medical malpractice issues–essentially involving the usual refrains about tort reform. Unfortunately, some Republicans are under the mistaken assumption that these laws are necessary to pursue some public good, like the lowering of health care costs. But it is not just medical malpractice lawyers who rally against this myth. Impartial researchers consistently show that tort reform does not help the public as argued–its just takes away their rights.
Political Claims About Health Care Costs
Sadly, our Illinois medical malpractice lawyers know that last week’s RNC convention was a reminder of the danger of mixing politics and civil justice issues.
Besides officially naming Mitt Romney as the party’s nominee, the Republican party Convention also included the unveiling of the party’s official platform–the issues and positions of importance for the group. Part of the platform mentioned medical malpractice and tort reform.
As summarized in a Business Insurance report, the party is “aggressively pursuing tort reform.” The stated goal for this pursuit is to lower healthcare costs for the general public. Of course, tort reform has no effect on health care costs, but accuracy is often not a part of political platforms. What is true often takes a backseat to what sounds good.
The official party platform does not hold any punches when explaining where the party stands on these important civil justice issues. It wrongly says that “Frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits have ballooned the cost of health care for the average American.” It goes on to note that doctors are “increasingly practicing defensive medicine because of the looming threat of malpractice liability.”
Reasonable health care costs are a shared goal–but tort reform has nothing to do with that.
Over the next few months discussion about health care, tort reform, and the civil justice system will no doubt be ripe. TV commercial, political speeches, and dinner table conversations will likely include mention of these political issues. At the end of the day, our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers hope more community members remember that there is no reason these issues should be political at all.
The civil justice system is intended to be somewhat set apart from the political machinations in the legislative and executive branches of government.
The principles of the justice system are about objective evidence, fair processes, and impartial decision-makers. In both the criminal and civil justice systems, all those involved are supported to be on equal footing–sharing information and allowing a judge or jury to reach a resolution. That is not what politics is about–winning at all costs. When politics gets involved in the justice system, real problems arise. The only winners are those elite big interests with money at stake. The general public loses. All community members should keep that in mind throughout this election season.
See Our Related Blog Posts: