As the debate over national health care has intensified, some have proposed limiting the rights of victims of medical malpractice as a way to lower health care costs. Such proposals are designed to protect negligent health care providers and have little or no impact on health care costs.
Leading economists have recognized that the impact of medical malpractice judgments and settlements amounts to a "drop in the bucket" in the context of the $2.3 trillion spent annually on health care in the United States. The reality is that the entire cost of medical malpractice lawsuits -- including legal fees, insurance costs, and payouts -- totals less than one half of one percent of health care spending. Obviously, limiting patient's rights to recover for injuries caused by malpractice has little to do with containing health care costs and everything to do with protecting negligent physicians.
The Indiana medical malpractice attorneys at Garau Germano Hanley & Pennington, P.C. oppose the current efforts to restrict injured patients' right to justice. Allowing health care providers to escape responsibility for their negligence will not lower health costs.