Health-care costs are exploding out of control. Virtually everyone has noticed increases in premiums, co-pays, deductibles, etc.
The number of uninsured Americans continues to grow. Much of the health care cost problems can be contributed to
medical malpractice lawsuits. Astronomical verdicts have led to massive increases in the cost to doctors of medical
malpractice insurance. Doctors must pay up to $200,000 per year in insurance, depending on their specialty. Doctors
are forced to pass these costs to patients, which explains in large part the cost increases. A number of doctors
have even gone on strike around the country to protest the rising malpractice insurance costs.
When a patient sues a doctor for malpractice, he or she may recover monetary damages for lost wages, medical bills, and
pain & suffering. In some cases, punitive damages can also be collected.
Several politicians have proposed putting a cap of
$250,000 on the pain/suffering and punitive portions of these damages (while
keeping the medical bill & lost wages recovery unlimited). However, since
the majority of Congresspeople are themselves lawyers by trade, in addition to
the fact that at least one major political party receives a large portion of
their campaign contributions from lawyers in the American Bar Association, the
proposal is far from passing.