We hear all the time how bad "defensive medicine" is - how it costs so much and is all do due medical malpractice cases.  Here's another article and study that refutes the politics.  Click on the title above to go straight to the article, at The Washington Post's Business Blog.
  
A good example, cited in this article, is Texas.  That state capped recovery for non-economic damages at $250,000.  So according to the argument of insurance companies (the big winners of any tort reform, because they can make more money by charging the same premiums and paying less to children with brain damage caused by medical malpractice) Texas healthcare spending would decrease.  But it hasn't - Medicare spending is higher in Texas than the country as a whole.

Medical malpractice cases are those where a doctor, hospital or HMO fails to follow basic patient safety rules and standard medical practice and someone is severely injured or killed as a result.  In D.C., Maryland and Virginia medical malpractice cases attempt to hold hospitals, doctors, HMOs or healthcare corporations accountable for the harm they do when they don't comply with the standard of care.

They are time consuming, expensive and complex - most lawyers won't touch them.  But for a child with cerebral palsy or a family who lost a father, they can be the only way to make sure the child or family can replace some of what they lost or pay for the medical care and services they now need.
 

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