Friday, January 01, 2010

CBO Analyzes Tort Reform in Health Care

The Congressional Budget issued a Dec 29 letter to U.S. Representative Bruce Braley (D-IA) in response to questions about factors that affect premiums for medical malpractice insurance, the effects of tort reform on patients’ health, how recent empirical studies affected CBO’s analysis, and why CBO’s latest estimates of the budgetary effects of tort reform are larger than the agency’s previous estimates.

The 8-page letter, available here, reads in part:

CBO currently estimates that the nation’s direct costs for medical malpractice—which consist of malpractice insurance premiums and settlements, awards, and legal and administrative costs not covered by insurance—would be reduced by about 10 percent (relative to the amounts under current law) if the common package of tort reforms was implemented nationwide. CBO’s previous estimate was that tort reform would lower malpractice costs nationwide by about 6 percent.

See also a 10/9/09 CBO letter to Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on the same topic of tort reform and medical malpractice.

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