According to the article titled “Malpractice: Savings Reconsidered” published on October 13th, 2009 by the Fact Check Organization’s web page, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has revised its opinion regarding the possible limits on medical malpractice liability due to new evidence. The CBO concluded that a limit on the medical malpractice liability would reduce the health care costs nationally by an 0.5%, approximately 11 billion annually, based on the conclusions of two studies that were published during September 2009.
According to the study by economists from the University of Southern California and RAND Corp., published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the increase on the compensations by medical malpractice has added almost 5% to the total of medical expenses in the last decade. The second study, prepared by the Texas University Law School, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and Northwestern University’s School of Law, concluded that limiting the liability for medical malpractice, and would reduce health plans premiums by a 1% to 2%.
The CBO also argues that taxes would decrease. Still, this article concludes that it is still unknown if lives would be saved by limiting the liabilities of medical malpractice. The University of Southern California and RAND Corp.’s study concluded that implementing limits in medical malpractice liability would not be worth the cost in lives. But, another article published in the Journal of Health Economics believes that tort reforms do not have a significant effect over the patients.
The article ends by stating that, even when there is evidence that limiting medical malpractice liability decreases costs, the important questions are still left unanswered.
Analyzing this conclusion, we ask ourselves: Is reducing this liability worth it? What would happen to medical malpractice victims? Is reducing costs more important than repairing the damages done to a patient? These are some of the questions the CBO has not answered.
Even when this article was published 5 years ago, it is important that we know the CBO’s thinking process, for it is this office that decides the federal government’s budget, and any decision regarding medical malpractice by this office will affect medical malpractice victims.
You can access the article through this link: http://www.factcheck.org/2009/10/malpractice-savings-reconsidered/