Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Real Liars

Tort reform is an obvious, popular, and relatively simple idea that would save betweeen $65 and $200 billion in annual medical costs. It is a necessary part of any meaningful health care reform, yet some are fiercely opposed to it.

The only folks not on board are a handful of powerful trial lawyers, and a handful of politicians who receive a generous cut of those lawyers' contingency fees. The legal industry was the top contributor to the Democratic Party in the 2008 cycle, stumping up $47 million. The bill is now due, and Democrats are dutifully making a health-care down payment.

During the markup of a bill in the Senate Health Committee, Republicans offered 11 tort amendments that varied in degree from mere pilot projects to measures to ensure more rural obstetricians. On a party line vote, Democrats killed every one.

This begs the question: do Democrats care more about helping Americans, or scoring a big political win?

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