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President Calls Tort Reform a “Real Issue”

July 29, 2009
  • President Obama¸ when speaking before the American Medical Association (AMA), stated: “I understand some doctors may feel the need to order more tests and treatments to avoid being legally vulnerable. That’s a real issue…I want to work with the AMA so we can scale back the excessive defensive medicine that reinforces our current system, and shift to a system where we are providing better care, simply — rather than simply more treatment.”
  • The journal Health Affairs estimates the cost of defensive medicine to range from $70 billion to $124 billion per year, which equates to over 10% of all health care expenditures.  Health Affairs found that this specifically costs Medicare – U.S. taxpayers – more than $15 billion annually.
  • House Democrats, however, failed to include a single provision aimed at reducing the huge costs to Americans that defensive medicine causes.  In fact, when Republicans offered a medical liability reform amendment in the Ways and Means Committee, Democrats rejected these costs savings on a straight party-line vote.