The growing bipartisan support for health courts

From the Health Affairs blog:

The rising cost of America’s health care system – already 18 percent of GDP – is driving the country toward the fiscal brink, and nowhere is the need for a new paradigm to control costs more evident than in the area of medical liability. Doctors’ justified distrust of medical justice (which has an error rate of 25 percent) leads them to prescribe and perform treatments for no other reason than to prevent lawsuits. This “defensive medicine” is estimated to cost anywhere from $45 billion to more than $200 billion a year. Fortunately, a growing bipartisan consensus is pointing the way to a solution.

There is widespread public support for the creation of special health courts. And, despite the highly polarized nature of American politics today, there is consistent support across political parties. A nationwide poll, conducted in April by the Clarus Research Group for Common Good, the nonpartisan organization I chair, revealed that 66 percent of voters support the idea of creating health courts to decide medical claims. Only 25 percent said that those claims should be decided as they are now, and there was virtually no difference between Democrats and Republicans on the issue: 68 percent of Republicans, 67 percent of Democrats, and 61 percent of independents support health courts.

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