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More than a mention

As blogged below, the White House appears willing to discuss medical liability reform at its Blair House health care event Thursday, but only as it applies to state demonstration programs. The sales pitch is developing, "See, we're even meeting the Republicans halfway on tort reform." From www.whitehouse.gov, "Republican Ideas Included in the President's Proposal":

Advances medical liability reform through grants to States: Provides grants to States to jump-start and evaluate promising medical liability reform ideas to put patient safety first, prevent medical errors, and reduce liability premiums.

* (Sources: S. 1783, "Ten Steps to Transform Health Care in America Act" (Enzi bill); H.R. 3400, "Empowering Patients First Act" (Republican Study Committee bill); H.R. 4529, "Roadmap for America's Future Act" (Ryan bill); S. 1099, "Patients' Choice Act" (Burr-Coburn, Ryan-Nunes bill))

But that's just one, relatively minor provision the Republicans have proposed. The House GOP offered many other substantive tort reform proposals, including them in Division C of their substitute amendment. Here are the legislative provisions:

Sec. 301. Encouraging speedy resolution of claims.
Sec. 302. Compensating patient injury.
Sec. 303. Maximizing patient recovery.
Sec. 304. Additional health benefits.
Sec. 305. Punitive damages.
Sec. 306. Authorization of payment of future damages to claimants in health
care lawsuits.
Sec. 307. Definitions.
Sec. 308. Effect on other laws.
Sec. 309. State flexibility and protection of states' rights.
Sec. 310. Applicability; effective date.

There's a lot to consider there. As we calculate it, federal support for state demonstration grants represents the White House going about 2.72 percent of the way toward the Republican position.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.