The Truth About Health Care and Tort Reform, Part III

Recap: This is the third post in a series. Part I explains that “tort reform” — an idea being pushed by conservatives as the cure for many economic problems, including high health care costs — has never delivered the promised results, yet conservatives keep making the promises. Part II documents how a cabal of extremely wealthy individuals and family trusts has been able to manipulate public opinion to sell “tort reform” to the public.

“Tort reform” proposals include a range of changes in personal injury liability laws, such as caps on the amount of damages the injured person can be awarded in a court. In a later post I will go into more detail about the effect these caps have had on injured individuals.

I am not arguing that personal injury law in the U.S. is perfect, or that it is never abused. Further, there are a number of thorny issues that need to be resolved regarding specific types of claims, such as mesothelioma resulting from decades-past asbestos exposure, if the law is going to be fair to both complainants and defendants.

My argument, however, is that before citizens allow state and federal legislatures to reduce their rights to take grievances to court, we all need to clearly understand the arguments being made for tort reform. Some of those arguments have some validity, but many of them are just flat-out false.

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