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Solving the Medical Malpractice Crisis

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One of the reasons why health insurance is so expensive in the United States is because of the lack of tort reform. The lawsuit lottery is alive and well and the cost of playing it raises everyone’s costs. I would like to make the modest assertion that I can fix the problem in one day. Fact is, half a day is all I would really need. And I wouldn’t need a single new institution to accomplish these feat. And trial lawyers would be accommodated, would have a role to play in the process and could have no principled basis on which to complain.

Before the 1920’s, a workman injured on the job could not recover compensation from his employer unless he proved his employer was negligent. A great advance of the U.S. legal system was to remove fault from the equation. An injured workman need only show that he was injured on the job. He would receive medical care and compensation for permanent injury. This system is successfully operating in every single U.S. state.

The solution to the medical malpractice crisis is simple. Take fault out of the equation. Better still, roll over the injured into the workman’s compensation system. In order to recover compensation for his injuries, a patient need only show that he was treated by a physician. There would no longer be any need to prove fault. Compensation would be guaranteed, but would be no more and no less than that compensation afforded to the injured at the workplace. There are already administrative tribunals in place to handle the cases—and lawyers have a role to play at these tribunals. So no med mal lawyer can claim that the adoption of this proposal would take his livelihood away. He can still represent the injured.

The advantage of the system is that wild jury awards and recoveries would disappear. Insurers costs would be fixed. The beauty of this proposal is that it is already working and working well. In every state. On every single day. Should someone who is injured on the job receive more than someone who is injured by a doctor? Why?

We have much to gain by making patients compensation a part of workers compensation.

Written by mokane

December 5, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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