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  • In the Green Room: Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS)


    In 2004 Governor Barbour passed comprehensive tort reform legislation in Mississippi. The state’s notorious reputation for “jackpot justice” has never recovered. In a recent op-ed Barbour wrote:

    The number of medical liability lawsuits against Mississippi doctors fell almost ninety percent one year after tort reform went into effect. Doctors have quit leaving the state and limiting their practices to avoid lawsuit abuse. 

    Those dramatic results should be replicated on the national level, said Governor Barbour at the Heritage Foundation last week:

    It’s mysterious to me that the administration and the leadership of Congress talk about health care reform and the goal of reducing costs, and yet refuse to put tort reform into the legislation,” he said. “I believe $200, $250 billion a year in health care costs is caused by litigation. It may be more than that. But this is the lowest hanging fruit, this ain’t rocket science. If they want a demonstration project, come down to Mississippi, and I’ll show you a demonstration project.

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to In the Green Room: Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS)

    1. Bill, San Antonio TX says:

      The most powerful Democratic constituent(s) is probably the trial lawyers. This is not meant to denigrate the valuable (albeit expensive) service that lawyers provide.

      However, since most legislators are lawyers and one now sits in the White House, coupled with the above – it is not really a "leap of imagination" to wonder why "tort" as relates to medical malpractice, is not pursued vigorously – or at all, as part of "reform".

      Legal counsel can be invaluable and expensive. Yet, unless we look at States like Mississippi, Texas and a few others, we are not acting responsibly.

      Fraud, abuse, and waste must be curtailed; the taxpayers are tired of being ripped off.

      And, one place to start is medical malpractice reform to stop nusance lawsuits.

      Don't worry, the attorneys will always make money. And, to be fair, 1/2 of them lose cases every time 1/2 win. The issue here is not sustaining their legal practice but to find ways to lower costs.

      By the way, caps are possible, you can have my left hand or right foot for 3 million and we'll call it even.

    2. A L Black, MONROE, L says:

      I was a claims adjuster for numerous insurance companies for over 32 years. During that time there were numerous rediculous lawsuits filed by plantiff attorneys. Tort reform should be mandatory!! Bill

    3. Tim Az says:

      Tort reform will only happen when lawyers are not elected as representatives in the House and the Senate. So vote responsibly. How's that hope and change working out for you?

    4. Tom McKinney, Dunwoo says:

      Governor, Keep up the good work. You have my vote if you decide to run for President!!!

      Tom McKinney

      Dunwoody (Atlanta), Georgia

    5. Jeanne Stotler, wood says:

      Tort reform is essential and should be first, Insurance companies are known for paying off nuisance cases rather than litagate. Second course would be to stop Fraud,it's well known that many phony doctors and companies collect millions of tax payer dollars every year, just recently there was a case in Fla. where doctors that have been dead for years were submitting claims?? We do not need anything else to bring down cost of Insurance other then a cap on benefits that CEO's and their staff get.

    6. Jerry from Chicago says:

      I would agree that tort reform is necessary to help get health care costs under control. However, the term "tort reform" can mean different things to different people. I believe thay any Republican alternative Health Care Reform bill should be more specific when it mentions "tort reform" as many Americans don't know what that means.

      Specifically, within "tort reform" there needs to be strict controls over the filing of medical malpractice claims. Many of these are nuisance lawsuits without merit, but which are easier to payoff than risk enormous punitive damage awards.

      It is essential that plaintiffs have legal recourse when they have suffered from legitimate medical malpractice, such recourse to include recovery of including compensatory damages for medical and therapy expenses, both current and future, lost wages and pain and suffering. However, the purpose behind punitive damage awards is to punish the offender monetarily, so as to prevent such further behavior. There is no need to eliminate punitive damage lawsuits to achieve "tort reform". Puntive damage lawsuits can still be filed, but any award for punitive damages should be kept from the plaintiffs and their attorneys and be channeled into Medicaid funding in the state where the harm was done. I guarantee the number of punitive damage lawsuits would drop dramatically as would the medical malpractice insurance premiums doctors must pay, as would the "defensive medicine" practices of physicians and their attendant excessive costs.

    7. Pingback: In the Green Room: Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) | Conservative Principles Now

    8. Ross writes from Bra says:

      At the national level, commonsense is a endangered species in Washington…and is all but extinct in the Democrat party. The Republican party is not, by a long shot over-ran with "good-ole downhome American" commonsense.

      Governor Haley Barbour has greatly slowed down the outflow of doctors with Mississippi's new tort reform. But more importantly, has the outflow of "ambulance chasing" lawyers in Mississippi started yet?

    9. jim smith says:

      Health Care legislation may end up getting passed by Nobama simply through selecting which interest

      group is the most vulnerable. Vulnerable candidates will be determined by the votes they do/don't deliver and the same for contributions to Democrat re-election campaigns. These candidates include all unions, trial lawyers, Federal government employees, PETA, all environmental groups, Algore, George Soros and Al Franken (as an alternate).

    10. Ben C, Ann Arbor says:

      Jerry from Chicago et al. Tort reform is a quick fix. "Loser pays." To date there is little risk for attorneys to file a claim and get a quick insurance settlement check. However, if the Plantiff carried risk it would be a whole different matter. The plantiff's attorney will think long and hard about whether or not the case has merit. If it does – as some do, they win. If not the plantiff's attorney gets to write a check.

    11. Bill San Antonio TX says:

      AIP Blog – shows that Texas rate of medical lawsuits between 2002-2005 fell 55%.

      And, Doctors are RETURNING. Wonder why?

    12. Pingback: Unbending, uninformed health care talking points. - AIP Blog - American Issues Project

    13. Pingback: Looking to states for the answers |

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