October 09,2009

Grassley: CBO Analysis Shows Medical Malpractice Reform Belongs Back in Health Care Debate


To: Reporters and Editors
Fr: Jill Gerber for Sen. Grassley, 202/224-6522
Re: Medical malpractice reform
Da: Friday, Oct. 9, 2009

Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Committee on Finance, and a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, today made the following comment on the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the effects of proposals to limit costs related to medical malpractice (“tort reform”).

“This analysis confirms that meaningful tort reform would significantly cut down on health care costs. Doctors often order tests just to protect themselves from lawsuits, not to treat patients. Doctors limit their services or even shut down their practices altogether because of skyrocketing malpractice costs. The more federal health care programs spend on unnecessary tests, the less money is available for necessary patient care. Cutting medical liability costs would help preserve patients’ access to care. It makes no sense that congressional Democrats have taken malpractice reform off the table. CBO says comprehensive medical liability reform would reduce federal budget
deficits by roughly $54 billion over the next 10 years. That’s not chump change. It’s a no-brainer to include tort reform in any health care reform legislation. That’s especially true when none of the five health care plans has done nearly enough to reduce costs overall for consumers, a major goal of reform.”