Avoidance of malpractice exposure makes up the biggest chunk of US healthcare waste: http://ping.fm/ckoRV
EDIT: …which begs the question, why has tort reform so far been a “Republican” proposal that the Democrats have fought including in healthcare reform bills? Seems like reducing something that makes up 37% of waste should be higher priority than e.g. moving away from paper records, which only accounts for 6%.
EDIT 2: Not actually trying to troll; I’m honestly curious why tort reform has been unpopular on the Dem side. Is it the trial lawyer lobby?
There seems to be a debate about the meaning of such numbers..
.. For example–this is what appears on lefty-blogs..
The result of which seems to be that even with tort reform–which has been done at the state level–the practices that are referred to in your article don’t stop. Thus, tort reform by itself appears to many on the left as a red herring.. because in practice, it hasn’t actually done anything except limit large corporations from being sued for large amounts.
What really seems like a no-brainer is to do research on treatment outcomes–to see which actually work and which don’t and use that data to influence treatment options.
See : http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2009/10/comparative-effectiveness-research.php
When supporting this kind of research came up–right-wing republicans attacked it as a road to communism.
(search for coburn on the page)
Thus, to finally answer your question, I think most liberals aren’t convinced that tort reform will really have anything to do with reducing costs–because in the states it hasn’t done so–and they find it odd that when they suggest actually doing research to find out which treatments are truly unnecessary, they get attacked from the right-wing (which probably makes them less sympathetic to good ideas that may reside on the right)..
Does this make sense?
Re: There seems to be a debate about the meaning of such numbers..
Makese sense, yeah.
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