Health Care and Tort Reform Essay

Health Care and Tort Reform Essay

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Rising health care costs have caused a national crisis, and all agree we must embrace reform. President Obama has initiated his national health care plan in the hopes of decreasing some of the inflated costs. When attempting to resolve this issue, one must always address the root of the problem. A large portion of these inflationary costs stem from malpractice lawsuits, and so begins the debate for tort reform: legislation which would cut the costs of health care by reducing the risk of civil litigation and exposure to fraudulent claims (“What”). However, the real factor at hand and the real cause of the industry’s high costs does not come solely from the cost incurred from these lawsuits, but from over-expenditures on the part of doctors, who over-test and over-analyze so as to safeguard themselves from the threat of malpractice lawsuits. Thus, large public support exists for tort reform. While the proposed legislation enacted through tort reform could cut the costs of health care and positively transform the industry, it is ultimately unconstitutional and could not withstand judicial scrutiny.
The crisis centers around malpractice lawsuits. When patients can sue doctors and come away with unreasonable profits, doctors must invest great sums in insurance to cover these lawsuits; additionally, to avoid any claim of malpractice, they feel compelled to overanalyze routine ailments, often investing great sums of money to rule out rare afflictions (Studdert). The impact of these procedures spikes health care costs by as much as 30% (Kimbuende), putting affordable health care out of reach for many, while benefiting parties profiting from the excessive lawsuits. Tort reform aims to eliminate these extraneous costs th...


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...Scientific Publications, LLC., 2005. Web. 28 May 2010. .
Studdert, David M. "Defensive Medicine Among High-Risk Specialist Physicians in a Volatile Malpractice Environment, June 1, 2005, Studdert Et Al. 293 (21): 2609." JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, a Weekly Peer-reviewed Medical Journal Published by AMA. American Medical Association, 1 June 2005. Web. 31 May 2010. .
"The United States Constitution - The U.S. Constitution Online - USConstitution.net." The U.S. Constitution Online - USConstitution.net. Steve Mount, 2010. Web. 28 May 2010. .
What Is Tort Reform, Anyway? A User-Friendly Guide. 31 Oct. 2003. Web. 28 May 2010. .

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