Sweeney Law Firm Video Library

Health Care Reform in Indiana

“We were just talking during the break, this is pretty timely, with the house passing health care legislation last night, and you said there were some things from a legal perspective that don’t add up.”

“I think what I wanted to share with our viewers about the vote that just came down about the health care plan is as our viewers may or may not know. There was no significant tort inform measures that were included in the health care package that was just filed. That was one of the things that I think was subject to debate, weather the was gonna be some tort reform like capping damages for medical malpractice suits.”

“And tort reform me revising the law?”

“Mostly what it means in the context of health care is capping damages on medical malpractice suits. One of the theories with trying to reduce health care cost was that if you put caps on medical malpractice suits, that it would result in lowering of health care cost that the doctors practice too much defensive medicine, they order unnecessary test because they are afraid of being sued. There are runaway jury verdicts with medical malpractice suits so that if you cap damages you’ll bring down the cost. One of the things I think our viewers ought to know in this debate are some of the facts regarding what cost are associated with the medical malpractice system that might contribute to the health care system. One of the things I think our viewers ought to know is that if you completely eliminated all medical malpractice lawsuits all together, if there were no malpractice awards, if doctors weren’t charged premiums for medical malpractice – the total cost of the health care system would be less than 1% of the total health care cost.”

“So it doesn’t have that much of an impact.”

“Right, like I said, if you completely eliminated medical malpractice from our health care system. It would only eliminate less than 1% of the total cost. About 1 in every $6 dollars in our economy right now is spent on health care. So the congressional budget office said that if you put a cap on damages, you could reduce health care cost by about $11 billion a year, but people have to have that perspective that $11 billion a year would be less than 1% of the total cost of health care.”

“Wow, so perhaps something that the congressional leaders didn’t take into account, or didn’t think through perhaps?”

“Well, they may have taken it into consideration, but my point is, that if you just eliminated that whole system all together, you’re really not going to eliminate health care cost or reduce them considerably.”