If you read Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s op‐ed in Sunday’s Washington Post, you witnessed the too‐rare spectacle of a Republican denouncing his own party’s hypocrisy on medical malpractice reform:
With Senate Bill 197 — legislation that would have the federal government dictate how state judges are to try medical malpractice cases and cap what state courts may award — several Republican senators have…take[n] an approach that implies “Washington knows best” while trampling states’ authority and the 10th Amendment. The legislation is breathtakingly broad in its assumptions about federal power, particularly the same power to regulate commerce that lies at the heart of all the lawsuits (including Virginia’s) against the individual mandate of the 2010 federal health‐care law. I have little doubt that the senators who brought us S. 197 oppose the use of the commerce clause to compel individuals to buy health insurance. Yet they have no qualms about dictating to state court judges how they are to conduct trials in state lawsuits…
This legislation expands federal power, tramples the states and violates the Constitution. And if it were ever signed into law — by a Republican or Democratic president — I would file suit against it just as fast as I filed suit when the federal health‐care bill was signed into law in March 2010 (15 minutes later).
For more on why ObamaCare is unconstitutional see this white paper by Cato chairman Bob Levy. For a discussion of why nearly all federal med mal reforms are unconstitutional, see this Policy Analysis by Bob Levy and Michael Krauss. For a discussion of why mandatory caps on damages may harm patients, see this recent Policy Analysis by Cato adjunct scholar Shirley Svorny. For an individual‐rights‐based approach to med mal reform, see this paper by yours truly.