As President Obama and fellow democrats went back to the drawing board once again concerning health care reform, conservatives representing the insurance lobby raised calls for tort reform. Fortunately for the hundreds of thousands of Americans seriously injured or killed each year by preventable medical errors, our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys are pleased to report that the President, and the Congressional majority, has not backed down from its stance that damage caps in medical malpractice cases have no place in health care reform legislation.
Proponents of tort reform say it will result in huge savings over the long haul. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), that black hole of information, says savings from tort reform can be anywhere from $41 billion to $54 billion over a ten-year period. Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers note that this savings amounts to less than one percent of health care costs, at a time when overall health care costs are expected to increase by $2 trillion (with a “T”) in that same ten-year period.
So, tort reform may save Americans less than 1 percent of health care costs over a 10-year period. But at what cost? If doctors and medical providers have capped professional liability exposure, will that reduce the incentive to practice safer medicine? How many more Americans will die or sustain catastrophic injuries caused by medical negligence as a result of capping liability exposure? What is the cost in terms of damage to families whose lives have been ruined by preventable medical errors, who will not have the financial means to provide for themselves?
The CBO did not measure this cost.
Tort reform removes the ability for victims of negligence to lead as normal a life as possible while giving insurance companies a free pass to profit off the negligence of doctors, hospitals and other health care professionals.
Each Chicago medical malpractice attorney at Passen & Powell understands the devastating impact that medical malpractice can have on families. Just as the Illinois Supreme Court recently held that damage caps are unconstitutional, we believe that any similar federal law is also unconstitutional.
There are specific factors that must be met in order to bring a medical malpractice case, and such cases also involve doctors, hospitals and insurance companies. The experienced Chicago injury lawyers of Passen Law have a thorough understanding of the factors, players and statutes of limitation. We also understand that compensation must cover the costs of living with permanent disability, including past and future medical treatment, lost wages, loss of normal life, disfigurement, and past and future pain and suffering.
For a Free Consultation with a Chicago personal injury lawyer with Passen & Powell, call us at (312) 527-4500.