Obama and Tort Reform

Perhaps President Obama’s speech gave too much hope to tort reform advocates thinking his mind was open to medical malpractice caps. President Obama said on 60 Minutes on Sunday that there was no evidence that malpractice caps would make a meaningful difference in the costs of health care.

“What I would be willing to do is to consider any ideas out there that would actually work in terms of reducing costs, improving the quality of patient care. So far the evidence I’ve seen is that caps will not do that.”

obama tort reformBut President Obama chooses his words carefully. “So far the evidence” is the “I don’t want to lose the left but I have to keep every option open because Fox News keeps telling me my presidency rides on health care” qualifier that underscores the point I made on the night of the speech: President Obama is keeping his options open on health care tort reform.

Medical malpractice lawyers – particularly malpractice lawyers in states like Maryland and Texas that have seen the impact of medical malpractice caps on their client’s ability to get a recovery are parsing every word of president Obama on tort reform.

  • 2013 Update: Obama now sees willing to put this issue on the back burner.
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