On healthcare, tort reform in the form of re-examining standards of care which are applied in malpractice cases, and how they are proved, are the kinds of pilot programs the President has endorsed. They can go forward in states which want to try them, and then we'll see how much is saved. What you can't do is cap recoveries (which just penalizes victims) or further limit attorney's fees (which are already capped in most states, where the Constitution places control of the vast proportion of tort law) because that makes it impossible to prosecute a claim. But, so far, "tort reform" has proved to be an economic make-weight in the healthcare debate. It just doesn't get us there economically.
But how do you explain that we're 37th in the world on outcomes, yet have far and away the most expensive healthcare system on the planet? If you say we "go to the doc too much," then why don't we have far better outcomes to show for that? Has it occurred to you that maybe our media ads for drugs and elective procedures are costing far more than the lawsuits you so like to hate? Where else in the world can people watch prescription drug ads on TV? And why are we paying so much for those drugs, when they're so much cheaper right over the border? How's that compare with your "tort reform" numbers?
In the end, Mike, the direct implication of your comments is that we cannot continue to allow Americans to have "all the healthcare they want" because it's just too goddam expensive and doesn't improve the end result.
If you believe that, how would you answer Sarah Palin's charge that you're putting together "death panels" to limit people's choices for care, especially the "heroic" and obscenely expensive stuff that routinely goes on at the end of life? The economics of that make "tort reform" economics vanish -- yet Sarah and Betsy McCaughey turned the whole topic into the third rail last summer. Where's the outrage, Mike?