CNN.com recently featured an Op-Ed by Anthony Tarricone, the president of the American Association for Justice. The interesting Op-Ed highlighted the recent uptick in “lawyer blaming” that opponents of health care reform are using. Mr. Tarricone summarized it quite nicely when he wrote, “Somehow, the fringes of the GOP have made health care about trial lawyers and medical malpractice. Instead of focusing on how to fix our broken health care system, opponents of real reform would rather limit the legal rights of injured patients. Talk about misguided priorities.”
As attorneys at Levin & Perconti see on a daily basis, medical negligence affects real people. Studies indicate that up to 98,000 people die yearly from preventable medical errors, and countless more are severely injured. Mr. Tarricone compared this statistic to two 737s crashing daily for a year. If this were to happen, would we blame the airlines or the passengers? And, would we question the FAA?
Despite forty-six states passing some kind of tort reform, costs of health care have continued to skyrocket. As Mr. Tarricone poignantly addresses, tort reform has served to allow insurance companies to make record profits off of the backs of doctors and patients.
Unfortunately, despite actual proof that tort reform has not helped, health care reform opponents in the Senate will propose similar ways to limit patients’ legal rights and will try to allow the insurance companies to continue to profit off of the backs of doctors and patients. If society really wants to put the lawyers out of business, decrease the number of wrongful deaths and personal injuries from preventable medical errors.
Please keep this in mind when you hear about the upcoming health care reform legislation. And, contact your Senator and tell him your views on whether the bill should include the so-called “tort reform.”
To read the entire Op-Ed, click here.