With their candidates all but confirmed, the Republicans and Democrats have settled down a bit — but just a bit — while the Anti-Campaign continues at its breathtakingly slow pace. Over in the forum, this morning I posted the Anti-Candidate position on Health Care, for those who are interested.
The position includes two specific ideas that would relieve some of the burden of legal costs for healthcare providers. Under the category of tort reform, and answering the question, “How could we fix this?”:
First, by disallowing every lawsuit filed against any hospital, clinic, or provider within six months of any death or other injury alleged to be a result of care. Why? Because great emotional distress affects our ability to make good decisions. A year would be better, but some period of time is needed for the family to gain some perspective on the event and decide if they believe the provider was negligent or was acting in good faith. It would be even better if cases would be summarily dismissed if the plaintiff and their legal team planned the suit during the hiatus, even if they filed after the time period expired. This wouldn’t end all ambulance-chasing, but it would reduce the number of frivolous, reactionary cases.
Second, by restricting the potential damage awards to be commensurate with the earning potential of the plaintiff and the injured party. As a (non-healthcare) example, if the hot coffee spilled in your lap will cause you to miss work, and the embarrassment of having spilled hot coffee in your lap will cause you to miss more work, then maybe you should be awarded an amount related to the amount of work you’re likely to miss. Unless you’re going to be out of work for 20 years and without your 50-grand-a-year paycheck, you shouldn’t get any million-dollar payout.
Of course, this is just an academic exercise … but it’s still fun.by