Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bill Bradley Advocates for Tort Reform

In a surprising op-ed in today's New York Times (here), Bill Bradley says that one way that Democrats could forge a broad-based compromise with Republicans is to include medical malpractice reform as part of a broad overhaul of the health care system:
"Since the days of Ronald Reagan, Republicans have wanted legal reform, believing that our economic competitiveness is being shackled by the billions we spend annually on tort costs; an estimated 10 cents of every health care dollar paid by individuals and companies goes for litigation and defensive medicine."
Bradley analogizes to the 1986 tax reform bill, in which the Democrats compromised on lowering the marginal tax rate (a longtime Republican goal) while the Republicans compromised on closing a number of special interest deductions/loopholes (which the Democrats wanted).

288. Are any leading Democrats working to include tort reform in any of the health care bills? Jay raised the issue with me two weekends ago, citing his disappointment that it's been kept completely off the table. I think that Jay and Bill Bradley are really onto something -- if the Democrats could challenge their own conventional wisdom // party platform on this point, they might garner significant Republican support.

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