Joseph M. Nixon over at NRO’s Critical Condition writes about one significant consequence of the Senate ObamaCare bill. It’s a huge boon for personal injury lawyers:
But few groups make out better under the congressional leadership’s health-care plans than personal-injury trial lawyers.
In reading the health-care bill approved by the House of Representatives and Harry Reid’s bill pending in the Senate, I find (so far) 26 new opportunities for plaintiff lawyers to sue doctors for malpractice.
At least 26 sections in the House bill and 21 sections in Senator Reid’s bill require that doctors adhere to certain standards of care in patient care, payment initiatives, payment determinations, and wellness-prevention programs that do not now exist in law. Each of these provisions could be used by a plaintiff’s lawyer to assert that the doctor failed to comply with “best practices” guidelines and become the basis for a medical-malpractice lawsuit.
What frustrates physicians and state policymakers alike is that none of these proposed guidelines actually enhance patient care or safety. Instead, in inventing all these new standards of care — relating to such things as effectiveness research, accountability provisions, medical training standards, research and data recorded by pilot programs, task force and demonstration projects, qualification standards for medical personnel, and quality standards (many with enhanced civil penalties) — Congress is creating a regulatory nightmare for physicians and hospitals.
If this bill becomes law, hardly a day will go by when a physician will meet all of the required administrative and regulatory processes proposed by Congress in these bills. Physicians across the country will be exposed to many frivolous liability lawsuits based not on how they treated their patients but instead on whether they complied with certain government standards.
Head over to Nixon’s post and read all of it.
Just like the Stimulus bill, ObamaCare is a huge payout for Democratic constituencies. My husband just snarked that perhaps he should start practicing personal injury law.