Health Care Reform v. Tort Reform

Earlier this week, President Obama continued to vaguely endorse conservative ideas such as efforts to prevent victims of medical malpractice from winning compensation in the civil justice system

However, these ideas won’t reduce the startling number of medical errors in American hospitals each year.  The Institute of Medicine estimates that 98,000 people die each year in the US from preventable medical errors. And, this number does not even include the countless other people who are injured by medical errors. Rather than reforming the legal system that provides protections to these injured patients, we must focus on reforming the medical system in this country to prevent these errors from ever happening in the first place.

Here is the president of AAJ – Anthony Tarricone’s – reaction to President Obama’s speech:

“Tonight, President Obama made clear that our current health care system is broken, and reform is needed to provide coverage for the uninsured and lower health care costs for all Americans.

“The pilot programs outlined by President Obama will require more detail. But the focus must be on reducing medical errors and improving patient safety. Over 98,000 people are killed every year by preventable medical errors. Reducing accountability won’t improve health care.

“Trial attorneys see first-hand the effects medical errors have on patients and their families. We should keep these injured people in mind as the debate moves forward.”

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