Most tort reform proposals center on limiting damages for people who are found by a jury to have meritorious claims. Insurance companies that sell malpractice insurance want their exposure capped. (Who wouldn’t?) Do doctors and hospitals get lower premiums in return? Well, that depends on if you ask the insurance companies under oath or if you are reading their PR pieces.
There is another debate out there that is more interesting from an intellectual standpoint – the debate about special courts for health care claims. These courts would run by health care professionals. Two folks are going at it on the Internet right now – Philip K. Howard, Founder and Chair of Common Good and the author of The Death of Common Sense: How Law is Suffocating America and Stephanie Mencimer, a contributing editor of The Washington Monthly and author of a upcoming book on tort reform.
Read the debate by clicking here.
Health care courts? Run by health care professionals?
I bet trucking companies would like their own courts, too. Hey, maybe Wal-Mart should have its own court. I mean, who knows better about the appropriate, safe way to run a superstore than Wal-Mart? How about a court run by the food industry for food poisioning cases?
I have more respect for juries than Philip Howard, a corporate lawyer with Covington and Burling in NYC. Of course, I have actually seen them in action.