According to The Washington Post’s article titled “Top Republicans Say There’s a Medical Malpractice Crisis. Experts say there isn’t”, published on December 30, 2016 by Chad Terhune, Republicans believe that the increase in medical insurance premiums and doctors going out of business is due to “frivolous lawsuits”. As such, under the President-elect Donald Trump’s presidency, a tort reform will be a “key part” of the replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act.

Contrary to the Republicans point of view, experts and researchers say that the medical insurance industry is not in the middle of a crisis, that it hasn’t been a better time for insurance companies, that doctors are paying less for the malpractice insurance, that claims have dropped and that this is just an opportunity to make the changes they have wanted to make as the Obamacare is replace.

If the Republicans proposals for the tort reform are upheld, the burden of proof for the patients to prove their case will be higher and it would be easier for doctors to defend themselves; also limits on damages awards would be implemented, as well as new defenses for doctors. While Republicans say that hundreds of billions of dollars have been wasted due to lawsuits and the practice of defensive medicine and that liability should be limited, experts say that they are not focusing on the most important aspect, that being reducing patients’ harm and having them have a safer outcome.

While it is true that the costs related to malpractice cases and defensive medicine is high, researchers have found that doctors won’t necessarily change their behavior or produce a less expensive care if stronger protections against lawsuits are implemented.

Due to the differing views regarding this subject, health policy experts are urging a cautious approach on the tort reform proposals.

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