YOU ASK:

Is medical malpractice affected by the health insurance reform bill?

WE ANSWER:

Medical malpractice and any reforms related to it are not included in the scope of the health care reform bill. Thus, the healthcare reform bill will not affect medical malpractice.

There is still much debate on what would be the best reforms to be made on medical malpractice to ensure that the rights of all parties concerned are properly protected, particularly the rights of the patient.

There are some reasons why the new bill will not touch medical malpractice and any reforms related to it.

The bill is about improved quality and access to healthcare. 

Medical malpractice reform is not included because the bill focuses on how it can make healthcare and health insurance more affordable and available to as many people as possible. The bill is not about setting limits or caps of non-medical compensation that is due patients that are injured by the mistakes or negligence of medical providers. Providing for this will not do anything or very little to improve how medical treatments are delivered to patients.

The bill is about producing savings that will help fund the improvements in the health care system.

Tort or medical malpractice reform is not directly related with how the health care system is to be improved. It also does not produce cost savings that will benefit the patients in the system.

According to a 2009 study, tort reform (taking into consideration defensive medicine, verdicts from the courts and malpractice insurance premiums) will only result in cost savings of 0.5%.  Thus, touching on the reforms of the tort system won't help much in reaching the goal of cost savings. The bill chooses to focus on reforms that will result in more funding for the improvements it aims to implement.

The bill is about health insurance and not tort insurance.

The bill aims to improve the coverage enjoyed by many people and is not about improving tort insurance coverage for doctors.

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