[UPDATED: Link to report added]
The most talked about issues with regard to "health care reform" (whatever that means today) have to do with access (pre-ex and underwriting) and cutting expenses (which is not the same as "costs"). We've also seen some talk about tort reform.
Flying under the radar, however, is this stunning bit of news regarding the latter:
■ 83 percent of the nation’s electorate want Congress to address reform of the medical malpractice system as part of any health care reform plan.
■ Only 43 percent of Americans have confidence that a lawsuit “without merit” that was filed against them would be resolved in their favor, and only 30 percent have confidence it would be resolved quickly and efficiently.
The study, by Dr. Ronald A. Faucheux of Clarus Research Group, consisted of live telephone interviews with over a 1,000 registered voters (a fairly highly regarded demo). It took place mid-August, and the results were just released.
Another interesting item is that there seems to be growing support for so-called "health courts:"
"67 percent of voters favor special health courts deciding medical malpractice cases rather than the regular court system."
While I understand the appeal of such fora, I'm leery of adding another bureaucracy. And it's also not clear to me how having a new, separate court system would work without a lot of other adjustments to tort law. Now, I'm not a lawyer (and I don't play one on TV), so maybe I'm all wet on that last. I'd welcome any legal eagles' opinions on that in the comments.
[Hat Tip: Jessie duPont]