November 9th, 2009
10:39 AM ET

Trial lawyers could win bonanza in health care reform

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/17/health.care.malpractice/art.sebelius.file.gi.jpg caption="Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services"]

David Frum
CNN Contributor

You've heard the saying: "In war, amateurs talk strategy, professionals talk logistics."

The political equivalent: "Amateurs talk ideology - professionals talk interest groups."

Small but sophisticated interest groups use big political battles to gain special advantages. Health care reform is, of course, the biggest battle of them all, with trillions of dollars at stake.

On Saturday night with the House vote in favor of the health reform bill, the trial lawyers sliced themselves a nice little piece of that bonanza.

It's Section 2531 of the bill - to be precise Section 2531(4)b - and it provides as follows:

The new health bill will empower the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make grants to states that reform their medical malpractice systems. There are just two conditions: Those reforms must not "limit attorneys' fees or impose caps on damages."

Which is like saying that we're going to encourage you to develop a personal weight loss plan that includes neither exercise nor changes in diet.

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Filed under: Health Care
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Tim Gibson

    Unless something is done to cap the cost of medical care, which it appears is not being done then why should there be a cap on awards for doctors who are at fault in malpractice suits.

    November 9, 2009 at 10:44 am |