Finding real candor from a pol at a health care town hall meeting is quite rare so here’s three cheers for former DNC chair and ex-Vermont governor Howard Dean for giving this honest answer as to why there is no tort reform in Democratic Party health care insurance reform proposals:
“This is the answer from a doctor and a politician,” said Dean. “Here is why tort reform is not in the bill. When you go to pass a really enormous bill like that the more stuff you put in, the more enemies you make, right? And the reason why tort reform is not in the bill is because the people who wrote it did not want to take on the trial lawyers in addition to everybody else they were taking on, and that is the plain and simple truth. Now, that’s the truth.”
Basically, what Dean is saying is the trial lawyers lobby has the Democratic Party firmly tucked away in its back pocket.
You can see Dean’s response here:
The questioner, probably nervous, said $200 million but meant $200 billion. The truth is, between $100 billion and $200 billion over 10 years could be saved from health expenses with tort reform. Premiums could also be reduced.
Dean is among those Democrats who insist that a public option be included in ObamaCare. Here’s a proposal that unfortunately both sides won’t take: How about including a public option and serious tort reform in a health care reform bill?
President Obama, who promised to be a great negotiator but has mostly delegated hard choices to Congress, could push this. It would be a real compromise that reached out to both sides. The private insurance industry deserves little sympathy. It rewards employees who can terminate coverage when it gets serious … and expensive. And trial lawyers have caused malpractice insurance to reach ridiculous heights.
I don’t expect this to happen, but if it did, I’d re-evaluate my position with the majority in this new poll.