Healthcare Legislation: Medical Malpractice Reform and Insurers’ Antitrust Exemption

side note: Did the insurance industry shoot itself in the foot? Did the industry’s attempt last week to torpedo reform place itself in the crosshairs to have its anti-trust exemption revoked? This is a scenario that will play itself out over the course of the next two months.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has acknowledged that medical malpractice reforms COULD reduce the cost of health care. The CBO found that by adopting tort reform measures, federal spending would be reduced by $41 billion over ten years and the federal deficit would decline by $54 billion.

The provisions in the current Senate Finance Committee version do not include the provisions necessary to achieve the reductions that the CBO believes are achievable.

The CBO said, “Tort reform could affect costs for health care both directly and indirectly; directly, by lowering premiums for medical liability insurance; and indirectly, by reducing the use of diagnostic tests and other health care services when providers recommend those services principally to reduce their potential exposure to lawsuits.”

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