Term Paper: Tort Reform President Bush

Pages: 4 (1421 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Healthcare  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] 59% of national health care costs such tort reforms would have a very limited effect on health care costs. They also argue that "insurance reforms" rather than "tort reforms" are needed for lowering insurance premiums and quote the example of California where after implementation of medical malpractice reform, malpractice premiums increased 190%. ("Tort Reform is not a Solution..")

Lobbying Efforts

Since the stakes in the tort reform proposal are very high, hectic lobbying is being done by various interest groups. For example, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America contributed $3.8 million to Democrats in the 2002 election cycle, compared to $335,000 to Republicans ("Center for Responsive Politics" quoted by Yost). The democrats are the main opponents of 'tort reforms' although President Bush has appealed for support from 'across the lines' for his proposal. Some see the President's push for legislation that would sharply curtail lawyers' contingency fees in lawsuit awards as being aimed at a group of attorneys who have traditionally been a major source of campaign donations for the democrats. (Yost, "Bush Putting Trial Lawyers on the Defensive.") Other lobbyists who are actively campaigning against tort laws are Consumer Right groups such as the one led by Ralph Nader and others like the "Center for Democracy and Justice."

The lobbyists in favor of tort reforms include insurance companies, corporate America, medical associations such as the AMA (American Medical Association), AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Right wing and Conservative groups also generally support sweeping tort reforms. Apart from their significant contribution to the election campaigns of public officials (mostly of the Republican Party) supporters of tort reforms also contribute articles in the media and the Internet. Such media campaign is also carried out by the opponents of tort laws, aimed both at the general public and the legislature.

Conclusion

As we have seen in this paper, there are widely divergent views on the issue of tort reforms. It is an issue that is generally supported by the Republicans and opposed by the Democrats. With President Bush putting his weight firmly behind the medical liability tort reform Act and a Congress now dominated by the Republicans, the proposal may soon become law. The debate on the issue, however, is not likely to end even after such an eventuality.

Works Cited

Horowitz, Michael. "Can Tort Law Be Ethical? A proposal to curb ill-gotten gains." Hudson Institute. First published in the Weekly Standard March 31, 2001. May 18, 2003. http://www.hudson.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=publication_details&id=810

HR 5: A cruel Proposal in Congress." Center for Justice and Democracy. N.d. May 18, 2003. http://centerjd.org/HR5.doc.pdf

President Announces Framework to Modernize and Improve Medicare." White House Press Release. March 4, 2003. White House Web Site. http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030304-5.html

Sebok, Anthony J. "Can an HMO Be Sued For Medical Malpractice Based on Its Coverage Decisions?: A Recent Federal Appeals Case Says Yes." February, 27, 2003. FindLaw Website. May 18, 2003. http://writ.corporate.findlaw.com/sebok/20030227.html

Now That Republicans Hold Power In Congress, What Tort Reforms Will They Enact?" Nov. 18, 2002. FindLaw Website. May 18, 2003. http://writ.corporate.findlaw.com/sebok/20021118.html

Tort Reform is not a Solution to our Health Care Problems." Office of the Senate Democratic Leader. January 23, 2003. May 18, 2003. http://democrats.senate.gov/sotu_2003/TortReformisNotaSolution.doc

Yost, Pete. "Bush Putting Trial Lawyers on Defensive." Associated Press Report. May 13, 2003. Kansas City.com. May 18, 2003. http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/breaking_news/5847868.htm

As the Governor of Texas, George W. Bush has a record of successfully proposing tough 'tort reform' bills

HMOs and their policies play an increasingly important role in deciding what treatments patients actually receive. Historically appellate Courts had ruled that HMOs were not liable for negligent action similar to doctors. A February 11, 2003 a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that an HMO can be sued for malpractice. (Sebok, "Can an HMO be Sued?")

Over sixty companies have declared bankruptcy because of asbestos liability (Sebok, "Now that the....").

An example is the Hudson Institute. Its Website features articles such as "Can Tort Law be Ethical: A Proposal to Curb ill-gotten Gains" by Michael Horowitz

Tort reform [END OF PREVIEW]

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