Progress on Healthcare Reform?

Today’s headlines are full of promise on U.S. healthcare reform after the Senate Finance Committee’s milestone vote in favor of a bill crafted by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) that would overhaul the healthcare system. It’s worth noting that this bill does not address medical liability reform. Last week the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that implementing a typical package of medical liability reform proposals nationwide would reduce total U.S. healthcare spending by about 0.5 percent (about $11 billion in 2009). This figure includes some 0.2 percent in savings from lower direct spending on medical liability premiums and an additional 0.3 percent in indirect savings from slightly less utilization of healthcare services. Overall, enacting medical liability reform proposals would reduce federal government budget deficits by roughly $54 billion over the next 10 years, according to CBO’s analysis. This is something to keep in mind as the healthcare reform debate moves to the floors of the House and Senate. Check out I.I.I. information on medical malpractice.

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