La Times

New study shows that the savings from 'tort reform' are mythical

New study shows that the savings from 'tort reform' are mythical:

"Tort reform," which is usually billed as the answer to "frivolous malpractice lawsuits," has been a central plank in the Republican program for healthcare reform for decades. The notion has lived on despite copious evidence that that the so-called defensive medicine practiced by doctors merely to stave off lawsuits accounts for, at best, 2% to 3% of U.S. healthcare costs. As for "frivolous lawsuits," they’re a problem that exists mostly in the minds of conservatives and the medical establishment. A new study led by Michael B. Rothberg of the Cleveland Clinic and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association aimed to measure how much defensive medicine there is, really, and how much it costs. The researchers’ conclusion is that defensive medicine accounts for about 2.9% of healthcare spending. In other words, out of the estimated $2.7-trillion U.S. healthcare bill, defensive medicine accounts for $78 billion.

Very generally, I think people are quite unhappy with the state of the economy and what's happening," he said. "They blame, with some justification, the problems in the financial sector for getting us into this mess and they're dissatisfied with the policy response here in Washington. "On some level I can't blame them," he said. "Like everyone else, I'm dissatisfied with what the economy is doing right now.

Very generally, I think people are quite unhappy with the state of the economy and what’s happening," he said. "They blame, with some justification, the problems in the financial sector for getting us into this mess and they’re dissatisfied with the policy response here in Washington. "On some level I can’t blame them," he said. "Like everyone else, I’m dissatisfied with what the economy is doing right now.

Ben Bernanke to congress.

Ben Bernanke does a Jack Nicholson on Capitol Hill - latimes.com