For years, influential figures in medicine, politics and insurance have worked to institute "tort reform" laws. They allege that America is too litigious, especially when it comes to things like medical malpractice. These so-called reforms promised to rein in the costs of healthcare by making it harder for patients to sue physicians/hospitals and by putting caps on damage awards.
The financial promises of tort reform have not been fulfilled, and many are now wondering if the proponents of these laws were trying to distract from the real problem. In a recent guest news article written by the president of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, Robert Weissman discusses an astoundingly simple idea that was largely left out of the tort-reform rhetoric. Instead of taking away patients' rights to sue and to be fairly compensated, why not just find ways to reduce medical errors?