With President Barack Obama in his last weeks of his presidency and President-elect
Donald J. Trump poised to take his place, Republicans are finally in position
to fulfill their years-long pledge to repeal and replace the Affordable
Care Act, or more commonly known as “ObamaCare.” While the
exact plan to do so is still unclear, one change that is almost certain
to be included is the implementation of a cap on
medical malpractice damage awards. But does this strategy hold water, or will it end up doing
more harm than good?
This idea is half-baked at best and is actually unconstitutional, as Congress
does not possess the authority to alter or regulate local civil justice
rules. Despite this, Republicans have stayed firm on their pledge to do
so under the belief that damage caps will fight frivolous med-mal lawsuits,
reduce health care costs, and generate savings – savings that will
help fund tax credits for people who purchase independent insurance outside
of the workplace. The argument is that doctors will be less fearful of
lawsuits and will prompt more physicians to enter the market, increasing
competition. While all this sounds good, more current evidence has suggested
New Data Suggest Savings Would Be Slim – If Any
While 2009 data from the Congressional Budget Office estimated that med-mal
reform would reduce insurance premiums by 10 percent and cut federal spending
by up to $54 billion over the course of a decade, newer data has estimated
that this figure is much smaller – maybe even zero.
In late 2015, three of the country’s top researchers spoke at the
American Enterprise Institute, a conservative-leaning think tank, regarding
distinct patterns of dispute resolution reform throughout the 1970s, ‘80s,
and ‘90s. After extensive research involving data from more than
30 states, it was concluded that while caps may reduce litigation, they
actually raise health care costs and have no real impact on the supply
of physicians. Likewise, it was concluded that caps actually have an adverse
effect by making it harder for patients to obtain justice, especially
those who have lower-value claims.
While the outcome of these changes is still unknown, or even if they will
come to pass at all, attorneys and injured patients must pay close attention
in the coming months to ensure their rights are protected. For more information
on this important issue,
head over to thehill.com.
Aggressive Medical Malpractice Attorney in South Carolina
If you or a loved one has been injured at the hands of a negligent medical
professional, it is imperative you retain the services of a powerful attorney
as soon as possible to guard your interests and pursue maximum compensation
while you still can. At Christian & Davis LLC, our top-rated Greenville
medical malpractice lawyers have more than 95 years of combined experience
and can provide the strong support you need during your pursuit of justice.
Call (864) 408-8890 or
contact our office online today to find out more about how we can help.