Health Groups Praise Second Bipartisan Debt Reduction Plan To Include Medical Liability Reform

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  • November 17, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC – The Health Coalition on Liability and Access today praised the release of a second debt reduction plan to include proven medical liability reforms, such as reasonable limits on non-economic damages. The broad coalition of health groups is pleased that there is continued bipartisan recognition that these reforms will help reduce health care costs. “The HCLA applauds the work of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force for recognizing the need for medical liability reform,” HCLA Chair Mike Stinson said. “This is the second set of policy recommendations in as many weeks to underscore the role of reasonable limits on non-economic damages in reducing health care costs, and our national debt,” Stinson added. The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force today released a report titled Restoring America’s Future. Chairing the study was former New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici and econo-mist and former CBO Director Dr. Alice Rivlin. The bipartisan study put the cost savings of restraining total health care costs at $756 billion through 2020, partly due to limits on noneconomic and punitive damages in medical liability cases. While estimates of the true cost savings from liability reform vary, a conservative study in September’s Health Affairs journal placed the annual cost of our broken medical liability system at $55.6 billion. A 2006 study by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that the cost was upwards of $210 billion per year. “As the need for medical liability reform is reinforced in report after report, the HCLA looks forward to working with new and existing Members of Congress on this important issue,” Mike Stinson said. “Enacting comprehensive medical liability reform into law will serve the twin goals of reducing health care costs and preserving patient access to care for all Americans,” Stinson added.