Malpractice reforms gaining some traction

When President Obama gave his big healthcare speech, he was looking to mollify Republicans hoping for medical malpractice reform with the promise of $25 million in pilot projects. (That olive branch seems to have snapped in half in pretty short order.)

Now, it's starting to look like even his fellow Democrats are willing to do more than experiment, despite some statistical evidence that lower medical malpractice premiums wouldn't do much to lower healthcare system costs.

For most of the reform debate, Democrats have given little support to medical malpractice reforms, in part due to a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office concluding that lower med mal rates would lower national healthcare spending by less than 0.2 percent.

Now, however, it seems that the Democrats are concluding that their posture may be out of step with voters. Congressional Democrats are telling the Administration that their constituents are in favor of medical malpractice reforms, which of course has them changing their position, as well. It remains to be seen, however, whether they'll simply give more lip service to the idea, or actually promote language that will make material changes.

To learn more about the debate:
- read this Kaiser Health News piece

Related Article:
Republicans unsatisfied with Obama malpractice reform stand