As regular readers of ThePopTort know well, President Obama’s past statements about medical malpractice have sometimes left us feeling a wee bit nervous, particularly where so-called “defensive medicine” has been concerned.
Given that, we were especially happy that the president opted to challenge that rhetoric at yesterday’s “Town Hall Meeting” in Bristol, VA. As Obama explained, after consulting with experts and doing some reading of his own, he’s concluded that doctors ordering unnecessary tests to insulate themselves from lawsuits “is a very small, maybe not even a measurable factor in the reason healthcare costs are going up.”
But he didn’t stop there. He also noted, consistent with the findings contained in the groundbreaking new report by the Americans for Insurance Reform (AIR), that ”health care costs are going up just as fast” in states with caps on compensation, as they are in states without such limits (i.e., getting control of our nation’s healthcare costs has nothing to do with limiting injured patients’ rights to hold negligent doctors accountable).
Needless to say, while we’re still very much in a “watch and wait” mode regarding President Obama’s views about medical malpractice, to hear him to go as far as he did yesterday was encouraging to say the least. So thanks, Mr. President. Here’s hoping there’s more where that came from!