Here's a forehead slapper for you from Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:
Lost in the shuffle of the CBO scoring of Max Baucus’ non-existent bill on
the health care overhaul system this week is another analysis by the CBO on tort
reform. According to CBO director Douglas Elmendorf on his blog, the CBO
studied the impact of both the reduced cost of litigation and the
elimination of defensive medicine that would result with tort reform.
Elmendorf says that tort reform would reduce the federal deficit $54 billion
over the next ten years, more than the fee Baucus plans to charge insurers for
the privilege of existence.
Of course, we can kiss that $54 billion dollars off because there is no tort reform in the Baucus bill or any of the other proposed bills. Outside of lip service about 'test programs', tort reform is not even being considered. Neither is allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines. Both would save billions of dollars and improve health care but neither would move the government to the desired goal of a single payer system.
Unlike other mechanisms in the various Congressional plans, this would
actually benefit consumers and accomplish what reformers claim to want — an end
to overuse in the American system. By eliminating the defensive medicine
that providers must practice to avoid predatory malpractice actions, tort reform
will actually make the system more responsive and more flexible for
patients. Less time will get wasted, fewer claims will get filed, and
patients will get the care they need and not what the providers’ lawyers
The administration's refusal to even consider tort reform calls their motives in to question. They certainly aren't acting in the interests of the taxpayers.