The great thing for legislators about a nearly 2000 page bill – such as, oh, the House’s latest health care salvo – is that very few people bother to read the whole thing. So it’s easy to bury little gifts to favored supporters. Or big ones.
For example, check out section 2531 – that’s pages 1431-33 for those following along at home – which has gone largely unnoticed in the major news cycle. These three pages of the bill reward states that refrain from setting (or repeal) any caps on medical malpractice rewards – and the accompanying lawyers’ fees! – by requiring the Secretary of Health and Human Services to provide them a bribe an “incentive payment.”
As Hans von Spakovsky notes at NRO’s Corner, this “alternative medical liability law” aims to eviscerate cost-saving measures that protect doctors from frivolous lawsuits that increase the cost of health care to the consumer. So this has nothing to do with providing better or cheaper care, covering the uninsured, or even eliminating waste and fraud. Instead, it’s a pure sop to one of the Congressional Democrats’ key constituencies: trial lawyers.
For more information on free market health care reform alternatives, please visit Cato’s Health Care website here.