David has been much concerned of late about the litigious nature of American society, as am I. But I’m a little less willing to embrace wholesale “tort reform” that would severely limit lawsuits. (Why is it that conservatives, who so like privatizing things, resent the privatization of the enforcement of medical and product safety standards? That’s basically what much maligned trial lawyers have done, and yes, some of them have gotten rich doing it, as privatizers always seem to do.)
This op-ed in USA Today marshalls some interesting facts about malpractice cases. At the very least, it’s clear that these suits are not the only (or the major) factor driving healthcare costs up. And, as the sad case of my doctor proves, there are plenty of nice doctors out there doing really awful things.