Variation in annual total cost and care quality for chronic disease patients:
source: The Commonwealth Fund
I wonder whether there's a correlation with the number of attorneys per state or the number per state per capita? Maybe commenter Thai will run the numbers.
I know progressives insist that earlier studies show only a limited relationship between tort reform and healthcare costs. Yet, many such investigations focus only on "direct" costs--even President Obama admits the current system encourages unnecessary "defensive" medicine ("Now, I understand some doctors may feel the need to order more tests and treatments to avoid being legally vulnerable. That's a real issue."). So savings of 9 percent to 10 percent would be a good start--and far better than some mooted alternatives.
Just kidding! In the real world, even a hint of limits on malpractice summons a hornet's nest of outrage. Why?: Democrats won't touch tort reform--since 1989, the trial lawyer lobby is the sixth-largest campaign contributor, 95 percent of which went to Dems last year. By the way, the largest teachers union -- which condemned most DC kids to failed public schools -- is seventh. Good thing Obama excludes former lobbyists from his Administration!
As Ace says, "Odd that everyone has to sacrifice except the Democrats' biggest donors."
From Fred Barnes's editorial in the September 7th Weekly Standard:
So much for Obama's insistence that cutting costs is dear to his heart. He's rejected, for purely political reasons, one of the most effective tools for containing medical costs. It would upset a special interest group--well-heeled plaintiff's lawyers--that is one of the biggest funders of the Democratic party.