Tort Reform ≠ Cost Control

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 14 2011 @ 10:19am


Aaron Carroll supports medical malpractice reform. But he thinks it has been majorly over-sold as a cost-control measure:

If the pie represents our total health-care spending, then the blue wedge is defensive medicine. Not as big as you thought, likely. But the red sliver, which I pulled out for easier viewing, is what we could expect to see in savings from tort reform.

I’m not going to disagree that the malpractice system needs fixing. Likely, too many claims are filed that have no merit. In addition, many more are never brought to trial that absolutely do. I completely support efforts at malpractice reform.

But it’s not the solution to our high health-care spending. Tort reform does not equal cost control.