If President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are really listening to your concerns, they would stop their quest for a government takeover of our health care system and start over again and accept bipartisan input for real health care reform.
While there are many flaws in the current proposal trying to be rushed through Congress, one of the issues that has gotten very little attention is the issue of abusive lawsuit reform, also known as tort reform. We can all agree there is a need for health care reform in this country, and tort reform should be part of any real discussion about making improvements to our health care delivery system.
As always, I encourage you to visit our website at luetkemeyer.house.gov. I also encourage you to call our offices in Columbia (573-886-8928), Washington (636-239-2276), or Hannibal (573-231-1012) with your questions and concerns. If you want even greater access to what I am working on, please visit our YouTube site and our Facebook page.
By reforming abusive lawsuits, we will level the playing field in our courtrooms so doctors can provide medical care for their patients without the paralyzing fear of frivolous lawsuits or runaway personal injury awards.
Doctors across the country are practicing defensive medicine, which means in many cases they are being forced to order more and more costly, unneeded tests because of the very real fear they will have to protect themselves against the frivolous claim they did not do enough to protect and treat a patient.
The bottom line is that doctors and the hospitals in which they work should have the resources available to serve their patients without spending precious resources and time in courtrooms fighting frivolous medical claims.
Rather than making cautious investments in excessive amounts of insurance and extortionate payouts to personal injury lawyers, abusive lawsuit reform would free our nation’s doctors and health care providers to invest in improvements to our health care system.
These improvements would include hiring new doctors and buying advanced equipment that would help better meet the health care needs of their patients and our nation. As the debate on health care reform continues, I believe it is essential that abusive lawsuit reform is part of this very important discussion.
Blaine Luetkemeyer is the representative for Missouri's Ninth Congressional District.