So-called “tort reform” is nothing if not a violation of the most fundamental of conservative principles. For example:
· Personal responsibility: “Tort reform” relieves corporations and other wrongdoers of responsibility for their misconduct.
· Lower taxes and less government spending: “Tort reform” shifts the cost of compensating injured citizens from wrongdoers to taxpayer-funded health and disability programs.
· Family Values/Protection of Children: “Tort reform” can be catastrophic for many children and their families, causing untold suffering, economic devastation, and for some, the destruction of family life.
· Less government regulation: “Tort reform” regulates what is essentially a free-market approach to holding corporations and other wrongdoers accountable for injuring or killing people.
· States Rights: There could be no greater intrusion on traditional state authority than federal tort reforms that tie the hands of local judges and juries.
As for health insurance reform, the right-wing nuts will
throw their most basic principles out the window in order to protect reckless
and incompetent doctors and dangerous hospitals. Actually, Sarah Palin fits
right in, you betcha.
UPDATE: From the February 8 New York Times: "Republicans also contend that changes in state medical malpractice laws could lower costs and slow the growth of premiums. However, some of these proposals — like federal limits on damages for pain and suffering and punitive damages — are potentially in conflict with the Republicans’ emphasis on federalism and state autonomy."