First Order of Business in Health Care Reform (Updated)
The American Medical Association booed President Obama in Chicago this week, for opposing malpractice caps.
It costs a great deal of money, and as great or greater an amount of valuable time, for a medical practitioner to protect himself or herself against malpractice lawsuits. The amount of money involved may run as high as $100 billion a year. The president himself referred to the cost of “unnecessary tests and procedures as part of a ‘defensive’ medicine culture created in part by the risk of medical malpractice lawsuits.” He called the cost of health care “a threat to our economy” and “a ticking time-bomb.” Strange then that a president who declares the nation is sitting atop a ticking time-bomb should declare off limits the most obvious solution.
Defensive medicine is not good medicine. From overprescription of medicines to excessive diagnostic testing to excessive surgeries, doctors are backed into a corner by the specter of law suits. Obama won’t focus on tort reform to protect his cronies in the legal business. And you can bet there’ll be some malpractice protection for the federal government in the socialized health care system.
UPDATE: Here’s the video clip. After bragging he’d bring doctors into the health reform process, Obama brashly dusts off the audience.