Rising health care costs

A September 10th article from CNN Money.com reported the Congressional Budget Office, the federal agency charged with calculating how much money health care reform will cost or save, just estimated that medical malpractice costs – including defensive medicine – amount to less than 2% of overall health care spending. Yet the local Vancouver newspaper, the Columbian, calls for more tort reform as a solution to rising health care costs.

Just because some people shout it at a town hall meeting doesn’t mean it will work. It wasn’t that long ago that Washington voters soundly rejected I-330, the initiative that would have limited a patient’s right to sue for sloppy medical care. The figure we hear over and over again is that 100,000 people a year are killed because of preventable medical mistakes. Now we’re being told the number is really around 200,000 if we include patients dying of infections from hospital visits. Maybe we need a little more defensive medicine. Nobody seems to be dying from having too many tests run.

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